I think that this is the cry of the prodigal sons and daughters of God: to think that prayer needs to be done ‘right’ in order to be heard; or perhaps that one has to reach a certain level of ‘goodness’ in order to be good enough to be allowed to pray. Otherwise, (they think) they might be disrespecting God and thereby displeasing Him.
Most families don’t require that their children achieve a certain level or status in order to be allowed to communicate with them. Likewise, God the Almighty Father doesn’t want to wait for you to be good ‘enough’ before you pray/ communicate with Him. He wants your prayer, your words of entreaty, your pleas for help, your longings for knowledge and understanding of Him to begin now!
‘Communication’ is really what prayer is all about.
The youth of today are always communicating with friends and loved ones (quite often on their cell phones).
God doesn’t require a phone, nor a megaphone to be heard. He doesn’t require special prayers (though sometimes these help a struggling communicator start a conversation).
All God wants is a heart that longs for Him, or Truth, or answers, or any one of a thousand reasons that one would, at last, turn their eyes, or mind, or reliance to God.
For myself, that day came when I had had enough of myself and the people I was with. It was a great party; the best people were there and there was lots to drink, but the emptiness inside made me cry out to a God who I hadn’t spoken to in a long time. So there I was, on the outside appearing to have fun, while on the inside I knew that no amount of fun could cover the misery that, like a black cloud, seemed to grow greater within me as the days carried on.
I remember my frustration since I didn’t really know the recipe for prayer. Finally I settled for, “Please God, turn me around.” I would repeat that prayer (not even realizing that it was a prayer) often from that day forward. I wasn’t expecting much, just hoping for a little peace, maybe a little guidance, that maybe I could understand life more and maybe one day have a little less misery in my life. I didn’t know that I would one day find way more than the “less misery” I was desperate for.
Back to prayer: There is a loving God, like the loving father in the story of the Prodigal Son, who is watching for us, hoping we will come to Him. Like the prodigal son’s father, he rushes to meet us. He’s never forgotten us (otherwise we wouldn’t exist) and gives us life so that we can one day find the one thing that will fill us with joy.We will only find that true joy when we throw ourselves into the arms of God, choosing God AND those things that will draw us ever closer to Him.