This question was addressed to the former Governor-General, Chief of the Defence Force by Greg Sheridan in his book “Christians“.
The concept of prayer, full stop, has always been under attack…sometimes rightly so, but the desire to be in touch with “the Other” has been a feature of all major Religious Organisations and Faiths. It has withstood countless assaults in the past and will survive the current “hoo-ha” following the recent data release of the Australian Census .
The desire to “pray” is often accompanied by the sentiment of one of the disciples read in todays’ Gospel “Lord, teach us to pray”. [Luke II:1-13]
“I pray for the kids, the grand kids, for the government — I want them to get things right“ was part of Cosgrove’s answer.
In some manner, his answer was similar to that of Jesus …..Jesus outlined areas of life that we should remember, mull over, think about and utter. Even He was a little short of detail on how to do it …..or was He?
Just as all are not called to be another Abraham, let alone one of the great psalmists, or a blessed contemplative, we are all called to raise our mind and voice to “pray for the kids , the grandkids“ and to also petition for the growth of God’s way in our world, for bread for the hungry and the many other needs including the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
If we feel able, then there are those gifted by the same Spirit that can lead us into deeper prayer; be it the Ignatian or Benedictine or Franciscan sponsored traditions; be it the centring or contemplative tradition; let alone the now popular meditation process.
All ways ,processes, formularies are good. Each to their own.
But let us all begin and make it a daily habit by just keep saying “ thanks for all that happens each day “.