"Before I can listen to God in prayer, I must fumble thrugh the prayers of words, of wilful demands, the prayers of childlish 'Gimmes,' of 'Help mes,' of 'I want . . . .' Until I tell God what I want, I have no way of knowing whether or not I truly want it. Unless I ask God for something, I do not know whether or not it is something for which I ought to ask, and I cannot add, 'But if this is not your will for me, then your will is what I want, not mine.' The prayers of words cannot be eliminated. And I must pray them daily, whether I feel like praying or not. Otherwise, when God has something to say to me, I will not know how to lilsten. Until I have worked through self, I will not be enabled to get out of the way."
-- Madeleine L'Engle
Walking On Water