What is prayer?
Prayer is our conversation with God. It begins with silence, remembering God’s presence, listening to Him attentively. We then speak to Him from the heart, silently or out loud, using written prayers, or in our own words. Prayer is learning to listen first, and then to speak.
Why do we need to pray?
Breathing is a sign of life. To breathe is to be alive. To have life, both the body and the soul need to breathe. Prayer is the spirit breathing. It is a sign that we are spiritually alive. To know God and to love Him, we need to pray. Without prayer, there is no communion with God; there is no life with Him. Prayer is the most important activity of our lives. It is the main way in which we develop our friendship with God. Prayer is the test of everything. If prayer is right, everything is right.
How should we pray?
We should pray simply, with faith and trust, as a child speaks to his father. We need to pray from the heart, with feeling and attention.
How often should we pray?
Start by praying the Morning Prayers to begin your day, and reciting the Evening Prayers before you lie down to sleep.
Once you are in the habit of praying in the morning and the evening, choose a special time during the day to recite the Daily Prayers or to pray the Jesus Prayer. Read the Holy Scriptures.
Spend some time alone with God in silence. Speak to God in your own words. This can be done in your room, in a church, or outdoors.
Does God answer our prayers?
Jesus said: “Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (Mt. 7:7-8).
Saint John the Apostle and Evangelist writes: “If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us” (1 Jn 5:15).
God always hears and answers our prayers, but not in the ways that we would expect. For God knows what we truly need, even before we ask. He knows what is best. We can trust in His mercy and His loving kindness.