In its fullness, prayer is an encounter with God that transforms the way we see and interact with the world. It is like a bright light that reveals what we otherwise do not see: When we wear glasses or look through a window away from the light, we can believe that the glass is perfectly clean. But turn our perspective and hold it up to the light, all of a sudden we are able to see smudges, scratches, and cracks that have been there all along but completely hidden to our normal consciousness. That is the effect that an encounter with God can have on our lives. When we stop for a moment the desire to convince God to give us what we want and simply encounter God—to aim our full attention at the light itself rather than using it to see what we want—our focus becomes clear. All of a sudden, we see ourselves and the world the way God does… and for the first time know that things are not the way that the should be. Something needs to change. Often, that something is us.
—from the book Called: What Happens after Saying Yes to God
by Casey Cole, OFM