Contemplation is not what I do, or what I do to God. It is what God does to me through an invitation to intimacy and union. What a difference this could make if our prayer would begin with an awareness of this truth. It is true that we want to be with God, but all prayer begins because God wants us! We share with God, say our prayer words, express our needs and the needs of others. But we also have to respect God’s perspective; we have to be attentive to God’s touch and inspiration. This approach to prayer frees us from the compulsion that somehow we have to make prayer happen. It brings in a simplicity to prayer. God is always offering this invitation to us, but we are so reluctant to let go of our cherished, even boring, ways of prayer. We hang on, it seems, because if we do prayer the way we want, and perform all these exercises, then we can feel safe and in control of prayer, and in effect in control of God. When praying in this manner, we don’t have to trust or step out in faith.
—from the book In the Footsteps of Francis and Clare by Roch Niemier, OFM