Q: How is prayer different from wishing, since God’s will is always done in the end? — Cindy, USA

A: +Dear Cindy,

Since we know that respect and considerate listening are noble qualities in human beings, we have a right to think that God is no less considerate and respectful towards us. It makes sense, then, to think that “God’s will” may be to listen to our heart’s desire and fulfill that desire. In fact, in our heart of hearts God is closer to us than we are to ourselves. So, our deepest desire is God’s will. To know our deepest desire, we must grow in stillness before we pray. Wishing and wanting come from our noisy surface; prayer expresses the desire of our innermost depths.

— Your brother David

Br. David Steindl-RastTrust
Br. David Steindl-Rast, OSB

Br. David Steindl-Rast, OSB

About the author

Brother David Steindl-Rast — author, scholar, and Benedictine monk — is beloved the world over for his enduring message about gratefulness as the true source of lasting happiness. Known to many as the “grandfather of gratitude,” Br. David has been a source of inspiration and spiritual friendship to countless leaders and luminaries around the world including Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh, Thomas Merton, and more. He has been one of the most important figures in the modern interfaith dialogue movement, and has taught with thought-leaders such as Eckhart Tolle, Jack Kornfield, and Roshi Joan Halifax. His wisdom has been featured in recent interviews with Oprah Winfrey, Krista Tippett, and Tami Simon and his TED talk has been viewed almost 10,000,000 times. Learn more about Br. David here.