In his book on prayer, Tim Keller writes this about the importance of having Scripture as the foundation of our prayer life:
“Without immersion in God’s words, our prayers may not be merely limited and shallow but also untethered from reality. We may be responding not to the real God but to what we wish God and life to be like. Indeed, if left to themselves our hearts will tend to create a God who doesn’t exist. People from Western cultures want a God who is loving and forgiving but not holy and transcendent. Studies of the spiritual lives of young adults in Western countries reveal that their prayers, therefore, are generally devoid of both repentance and of the joy of being forgiven. Without prayer that answers the God of the Bible, we will only be talking to ourselves.”
No one likes to be in a conversation where the other person is speaking but not listening. In prayer, our listening happens when we pay attention to Scripture. In the Bible, God tells us what he thinks is important for us to know.
Praying in response to what we know about God from Scripture makes prayer a conversation that incorporates both listening and speaking.
To speak without listening is rude and a waste of time.