When it comes to prayer, despair makes one eloquent… Sometimes our prayers lack eloquence because prayer seems to us, in truth, to be rather incidental, or perhaps a kind of convenience. After all, if prayer doesn't work we can always invest more of our hopes in those remedies that money can buy, or that logic can contrive. I hate to say it, but our comparative abundance may get in the way of greater skill in our native tongue, prayer. Mind you, despair and faith are not the same, but sometimes despair impels our search for faith.
I want so much for you and me to understand the importance of being bilingual. I want us to realize that a person who can talk only in the dialects of business, sports, sex, literature, philosophy, and the news of the day is fatally disadvantaged. Because you and I must eventually, some day, do business with God -- in this world, and in the world to come. How pathetic to think that we might have to stand before God, eloquent in business, sports, and gossip, and babbling like an infant when it comes to the divine tongue!
Here's the good news -- Divine eloquence is within every person's reach, because it involves the language all of us are equipped to speak. But -- as with any other language -- you have to care enough to spend some time learning the fundamentals of the language and then expanding your vocabulary and your ease of expression.
Now is the time to be at it. Not when you're facing surgery the next day, or when your family is falling apart, and certainly not when you're dying. Now is the time, the ideal time, to become eloquent in our native tongue. Prayer -- the language that works in both time and eternity.
-- J. Ellsworth Kalas in New Testament Stories from the Back Side