Just before morning’s light, a whip-poor-will settles in the tree outside my window and begins his monotonous “whip-poor-will” cry. Again and again, breaking the stillness of the night, I hear his plaintive call. He never varies its pitch or rhythm—just the same notes repeated, echoing. Sometimes I worry that my prayer life resembles the monotonous cry of that bird. I bring with me in preparation for my talk with God a laundry list of “Please do this,” and “Complaints I want you to hear,” and “ Here’s how I think these things should be handled.” Then I wonder why my time with God seems sterile and fruitless. Lord, it’s difficult sometimes for me to think and feel what I am saying to you; my mind wanders as I touch on various subjects and I lose focus. Please forgive me when I waste my prayer time. Help me to attend to our time together, keep my heart, mind and spirit in your reach and help me learn to be silent to hear your responses. Forgive my empty calls in the night. Amen.

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