"But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy father which is in secret; and thy father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him." Matthew 6:6-8
Prayer is a direct communication between us and our father in heaven. It is a powerful tool in our lives. It alone can bring us closer to god than we have ever been. He alone is the one person in our life that will never turn away from us, and will always listen, no matter what. When others are too busy, or not able to help us, or talk to us, he will. He should be the first one that we turn to when we need an answer or help in our life. He will always answer us. It may not be the answer that we want, but he will answer. It may not be a verbal answer, and it may not come right away, but I promise that you will receive one. Sometimes you will feel a warm, peacful loving feeling, that is him saying that he is with you.
In Matthew christ tells us to pray in private. This is because personal prayer is just that personal. It is a private conversation between us and god. It is ok to pray in public, and with others, but we must remember to have personal prayer. Use the opportunity to thank the lord for his blessings.Use it as a chance to tell him of the things that we need or want. Be completly open and honest with him. Prayer shouldn't be viewed as something we "have" to do, but more of something we "want" to do. It should be more than just a list of those things that we are thankful for, and more than a list of what we want. It is a chance for us to have a real conversation with him. Speak to him as if he is right here with us, because he is. He is our father and he loves us, and wants to know how we are doing. How can we expect to be close to him, if we don't talk to him?
Nothing is beyond his power and wisdom, and he will never steer us wrong. Listen to what he tells us, even if you don't like it. Part of loving him, is listening to and obeying him. He doesn't tell us to do something without providing a way for us to do it.
Tim Collins 4-9-2002