"His emptiness ran so deep that he could hardly name it, except to say that he needed God's mercy.
"Barely able to speak, he choked out a short, simple prayer."
"Jesus said that it was the tax collector's prayer that proved to be the acceptable one, because (according to Sittser) he knew his true need and admitted it."
"The heart of true prayer is this cry of desperation… (W)hat is most fundamental is the spirit of our prayers, the cry of the heart to get help from the only one who can meet our deepest need.
"Desperation is the first and primary condition for true prayer... Desperation forces us to pray as we ought."
Why were our prayers denied?!
All these people were still living by faith when they died.
They.did. not. receive. the. things. promised; they.only.saw.them.and. welcomed. them. from. a. distance.
These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.
Picture, thanks to ~Journey of the Survivor (From Grief to Survival)