After that experience, which was about ten years ago, Richard found himself praying all the time. His prayer was always the same. He kept begging God, “Please, please, please open my heart.” That was all he wanted an open heart. And he would always finish the prayer for an open heart by asking God, “And please send me a sign when the event has occurred.” Now he says, recollecting that time, “Be careful what you pray for, Groceries, cuz you just might get it.” After a few months of praying constantly for an open heart, what do you think Richard got? That’s right emergency open-heart surgery. His chest was literally cracked open, his ribs cleaved away from each other to allow some daylight to finally reach into his heart, as though God were saying, “How’s that for a sign?” So now Richard is always cautious with his prayers, he tells me. “Whenever I pray for anything these days, I always wrap it up by saying, ‘Oh, and God? Please be gentle with me, OK?’
Extract from „Eat, pray, love” by Elisabeth Gilbert.