This is my best advice for all people, in all walks of life, of all ages, all backgrounds, heck, even of all religions and none. Whatever your lifestyle, whatever your past, whatever your vices and virtues, whatever your failures and successes. However much you pray, however “good” you are at it. Pray when you don’t feel like it.
Why? Because we always need God, and He always makes it better. Always.
We always need our Creator, our Father, our Saviour.
If you don’t feel you can pray right, pray wrong. Even if you can’t help swearing, swear in prayer. God loves it.
Even the smallest prayer in the worst sinner, opens us to God’s infinite creative love and mercy. Throughout each day, we grow stale (the “righteous” especially), and we need to be reinvigorated. We close ourselves off, from God, from others, from creation, and from ourselves. In this dying world to which we are subject, we must repeatedly open ourselves to the source of all life.
Whatever the situation, the briefest contact with God will bring life there.
As the winter deepens, we know that opening the door for just a moment lets so much cold in, and leaving one small window open freezes the whole house! That is how brief prayer and small prayer let God in.
Sometimes prayer will be genuinely painful. But however bad it may feel, this is the pain of life, and it is good. It burns and it crushes and it grinds, but it liberates, and fills us with light.
Sometimes, I don’t know the words; I pray remembered prayers (the Our Father and the Jesus prayer usually). God answers. Sometimes, all my words, all my thoughts, and all I am, seem empty and vain; I tell God I feel empty and vain, accepting that I feel empty and vain even as I confess this. God comes to the rescue. Sometimes, I can’t bring myself to say a word before God; I kneel in front of my crucifix, make the sign of the cross, and remain there, in front of the Lord, knowing I am seen. God is there. Sometimes, I’m too afraid to go to God at all; I go to a saint to help me (usually St. Therese). The saints bring me to God. And sometimes, I don’t take my own advice and don’t pray.
At those times God either keeps on disturbing me, or waits for me.
Evidently, I’m no prayer master. But I know for certain, that every time we pray, we open our lives to God’s work, and He always enters, and He always helps.
God bless you