In its fullness, prayer is an encounter with God that transforms the way we see and interact with the world. As so many saints have suggested, it is like a bright light that reveals what we otherwise do not see.
When we stop for a moment the desire to convince God to give us what we want and simply encounter God—to aim our full attention at the light itself rather than using it to see what we want—our focus becomes clear. All of a sudden, we see ourselves and the world the way God does … and for the first time know that things are not the way that they should be. Something needs to change. Often, that something is us.