“My words fly up. My thoughts remain below. Words without thoughts never to heaven go.” King Claudius uttered this lament as he knelt in prayer with young Hamlet hovering nearby with murderous intent.
I think this is one of the pithiest notes about prayer that I’ve ever come across. Shakespeare was saying that for prayer to take place, words and thoughts must be conjoined and offered up wholeheartedly. In other words, there must be a singleness of purpose, a sublime focus. There must be meditation.