I had taken the liberty of timing her prayer the second time I’d heard her. And I had a reason. The prayer lasted one minute, and in that time she had used the name “God” thirty-three times! She had used His Name as a punctuation mark, and not as though she were speaking to a real, living Person.
I gave her an example of the way she prayed, so she would understand: “O God, we thank you, God, that we can come into Your Presence, God. God, we need you today, God. God, will you help us, O God, to live for you today, God.”
She was embarrassed and surprised, but fortunately very open. We had a comfortable talk on the subject, and then she asked, “Could we pray again now?” We did, and this time, by her own choice, she started, “Dear Lord Jesus. . .” instead of her habitual, “Dear God. . . .” She prayed slowly, thoughtfully, with many pauses, and used His Name meaningfully. She was speaking to Someone, and He was there!
Suddenly she looked up, with tears, “Oh, Ros, I feel as if I’ve become a Christian all over again! I didn’t know what I was doing before. I guess I was praying to be praying, if there is such a thing. I didn’t really know to whom I was praying. Now I know. It’s Jesus Christ!
Rosalind Parker, Prayer: Conversing with God, p. 31.