For St. Augustine the desire for God, not a list of needs, is at the heart of prayer. We need to “pray always with unwearied desire.”
“ However, at set times and seasons we also pray to God in words, so that by these signs we may instruct ourselves and mark the progress we have made in our desire, and spur ourselves on to deepen it.
The more fervent the desire, the more worthy will be its fruit. When the Apostle tells us: Pray without ceasing, he means this: Desire unceasingly that life of happiness which is nothing if not eternal, and ask it of him who alone is able to give it.” (Letter to Proba)
“O Lord, open my lips.”
“O God, come to my assistance.”
We often begin our prayers in the liturgy with these short prayers, asking for God’s grace to stir up the gift of prayer within us, especially our desire for the God of all. Desire is also a gift of God.