A pious old man prayed five times a day while his business partner never set foot in church. And now, on his eightieth birthday he prayed thus:
“Oh Lord our God! Since I was a youth not a day have I allowed to pass without coming to church in the morning and saying my prayers at the five specified times. Not a single move, not one decision, important or trifling did I make without first invoking your Name. And now, in my old age, I have doubled my exercises of piety and pray to you ceaselessly, night and day. Yet here I am, poor as a church mouse. But look at my business partner. He drinks and gambles and, even at his advanced age, consorts with women of questionable character yet he’s rolling in wealth. I wonder if a single prayer has ever crossed his lips. Now, Lord, I do not ask that he be punished, for that would be unchristian. But please tell me: Why, why, why… have you let him prosper and why do you treat me thus?”
“Because,” said God in reply, “you are such a monumental bore!”
PONDER AND CONSIDER
The Rule in a monastery was not, “Do not speak,” but, “Do not speak unless you can improve on the silence.”
Might not the same be said of prayer?