Let there be no studied elegance in the words of your prayer: how often the simple and monotonous lisping of little children make their father give in to them! Do not launch out into long discourses that fritter away your mind in efforts for eloquence. One word alone spoken by the Publican touched God’s mercy; a single word full of faith saved the Good Thief. Prolixity in prayer often fills the mind with images and distracts it. While often one single word draws it into recollection.
* This excerpt is from “The Ladder of Divine Ascent” by St. John Climacus