Some people seem to think that prayer is a matter of dispatching request after request to an interventionist Santa God who fulfills all wishes and grants all requests. I feel pretty confident that if that was how either prayer or God worked we would have long ago achieved peace on earth and total disarmament; ended poverty, illness and hunger; all have extremely attractive spouses who fulfill our every wish, fantasy, and desire; and all be working at our dream job while living in our dream house and driving our dream car. Nobody would ever be sick for more than a few minutes and the world would be even more crowded than it is because nobody would ever have died. That’s what prayer isn’t. Authentic prayer involves listening rather than talking and silence instead of making noise, which may be why so few people are actually interested in it.