In How Can I Cultivate Private Prayer, Joel Beeke’s third way to take hold of yourself is to speak with sincerity in prayer. He notes Psalm 62:8 which calls for us to pour out our heart to God. We cannot just mouth words; the heart, indeed our whole being, is to be involved.
Beeke expands on this thought by quoting Thomas Brooks:
God looks not at the elegancy of your prayers, to see how neat they are; nor yet at the geometry of your prayers to see how long they are; nor yet at the arithmetic of your prayers, to see how many they are; nor yet at the music of your prayers, nor yet at the sweetness of your voice, nor yet at the logic of your prayers; but at the sincerity of your prayers, how hearty they are.
So how hearty are my prayers? Am I simply mouthing requests without feeling? Going through the motions of praying through my prayer list?
Or am I crying out to God for help? Am I groaning for his intervention? Pleading for his grace and mercy? Rejoicing in his blessings?
Where is my heart? And where is yours?