Prayer can be approached as a means or as an end.
You’re tired of using God as a crutch to get wherever else you want to go and finally decide, throwing it all over, to just make God your explicit destination. Consecration it is. The kingdom of God or nothing.
You’re a Mormon. And you’re relieved.
From now on, when you get out of bed in the morning, getting-up won’t just involve (on a good day) a passing prayer but will be for the sake of prayer. You’ll still eat a bowl of cereal for breakfast, but instead of praying so that you can pour the milk, you’ll set out the bowl, the spoon, the milk, the sugar shaker, the cereal as an occasion for prayer. You’ll still drive to work, but instead of praying in order to drive, you’ll slide behind the wheel in order to pray. You’ll tie your shoes, smooth your son’s hair, button your shirt, and kiss the nape of your wife’s neck as a prayer.
You can approach this new kind of work either haphazardly or systematically.
If approached haphazardly, you’ll probably only pray when you need something and, thus, you’ll probably only pray as a means to some other end.
If approached systematically, you’ll still probably only prayer as a means to some other end – but there’s a chance something else might happen.
You give an intentional approach a try. You have to start somewhere. You decide to take up prayer as a practice, as a discipline, as a work, as your daily bread.
You’ll have to decide a couple of things.
First, what exactly is it that you are trying to practice when you practice prayer? In particular, what exactly is it that you are trying to practice when you practice prayer as an end in itself rather than as a means to some other end?
Take the following as a guide. Whatever you take the essence of this practice to be, that practice must be literally extendable into the business of everything you do, every day.
In short, the test is: whatever you take prayer to be, it must be possible to literally “pray always.” The practice of prayer is anything but metaphorical. Entering into the rest of the Lord is anything but metaphorical.
Second, you’ll have to decide what concrete steps to take to actually practice praying in this way. Maybe you’re a prodigy who can play by ear . . . but probably not.