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John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement in 18th Century England presents this perspective on prayer in his sermon “On Prayer”:

When we say our prayers… if we do it for any selfish reason, it is not acceptable to God.

The purpose of your praying is not to inform God, as though he didn’t already know what you wanted. No, it is to inform yourself, to fix your wants more clearly in your heart and to remind yourself of your continual dependence on God who is always more willing to give than you are to ask. Then you will be more willing to receive the good things he has prepared for you.

(as translated into modern English by James D. Holway)

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