Lord, I certainly know the rules:
Prayer for gain is the prayer of fools.
The law's the law; even if
The certified saint slips off a cliff,
He hurtles through unresponsive air
At 32 feet-per-second square
No matter how fervent and loud his prayer.
And words will never bring the rain
Nor add to the dwindling mound of grain.
But the cries you've heard, from the very start,
Are all those yearnings that change the heart.
Give wisdom, strength, ease my fear.
These, we know, you hear.
From Look Down From Clouds ( Levine, 1997). Part 1 of a 2-part poem, Prelude and Prayer.