Throughout the centuries poets, philosophers, religionists, and lexicographers have attempted to define prayer with more or less indifferent success because nearly all have regarded it and its effects inversely; that is to say, most of these definitions are based upon a belief in a Supreme Being whose intentions and activities may be changed to conform to the material wishes or demands of the supplicant. Through such misapprehension importunate prayer, synonymous with repetition, savoring largely of self-will and fear, has been justified and offered to hungry hearts yearning to find the way to true communion.
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