Prayer can be both the simplest and the most difficult thing in the world.
In it’s simplest form, it is conversation with God. Speak, aloud or silently, as if you were talking to a person right there beside you. It can be a song in your heart, a cry without words. It can be as short as “Help me God” or a long list of all the things you are thankful for or are having problems with.
On the difficult side, just tell yourself you’re going to pray at bedtime, and you’ll find yourself nodding off mid-thought. Or during the day, and find yourself distracted by a million things. Or set out to pray for X minutes, and run out of things to say in the first minute. Or begin and be overwhelmed by a sense of God’s holiness and our human frailties and personal shortcomings.
Our attitudes may make us feel so unworthy we dare not ask God for anything. Or so entitled that we lash out angrily because things aren’t going our way. Based on our circumstances we may wonder if God is there. Or if He cares.
Guess what? God can handle it all! You can say anything to Him. Each one of us is His creation. And He loves us because of that. Because of who He is: our Creator. There is nothing we can do to earn His love. Or be good enough to deserve it. But He gives it freely.
He loves us so much that when sin entered the world and separated us from Him, He made a way of reconciling us to Him. Of bringing us back into intimate relationship with Him. He sent His son Jesus Christ to live on the earth to teach and lead by example. And then to take on Himself the penalty sin deserves. My sin, and your sin. The little sins. The big sins. The sins of everyone in the entire world.
The penalty was death. And Jesus died so that when we accept His payment on our behalf for our sins, we are placed back into an intimate relationship with God. John 1:12 says that when we believe this and accept this payment on our behalf, we are given the right of becoming sons and daughters of God. He is our Father. And we have all the rights and blessings of being His child.
As with any relationship, honest communication builds closeness and intimacy. Prayer is one of those avenues of communication. Speaking and listening. Speak to God. And listen for Him. That’s prayer.