Prayer is just "talking to God," right? Won't a few words of greeting or petition suffice? "Hello, God, it's Carl. Thanks for the beautiful day. Keep me safe, and help me get that promotion. Amen."
Not quite. Casual prayer seldom embraces the riches of a Scripture-centered devotional life. Disciplined prayer requires desire and commitment. You also need appropriate forms and exercises to make sure that your discipline moves toward the desired ends. The church sensed this from its earliest days. The "daily office" cycle of prayers used by Roman Catholic religious orders and others grew from the prescribed daily prayers and Scripture readings that took the faithful through the liturgical year.
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