Anyone who wishes to pray must choose not only the right place but also the right time. A time of leisure is best and most convenient, the deep silence when others are asleep is particularly suitable, for prayer will be freer and purer. Arise at the first watch of the night and pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord.
You will not pray aright, if in your prayers you seek anything but the Word, or seek him for the sake of anything but the Word; for in him are all things. In him is healing for your wounds, help in your need, restoration for your faults, resources for your further growth; in him is all that we should ask or desire, all we need and all that would profit us. There is no reason, therefore, to ask anything else of the Word, who is all.
Even if we seem sometimes to ask for material things, providing that we do so for the sake of the Word, as we should, it is not the things themselves that we are asking for, but him for whose sake we ask them. Those who habitually use all things to find the Word already know this.
Bernard of Clairvaux, On The Song of Songs, Sermon 86, CF 40, p. 213 f