Prayer: Learning by imitation

So prayer is something we have to learn. A child learns to speak because his father speaks to him. He learns his father’s own language. That is how we learn to speak to God, for God has spoken and still speaks to us. His children learn to speak to him in the language of their Father in heaven. We begin to pray by repeating to God his own words.We are to speak to him not in the false and confused language of our own hearts but in the clear, pure language in which God has spoken to us in Jesus Christ, and in that language he will hear us.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Psalms: Prayer Book of the Bible (Oxford: SLG Press, 1982), 2

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