God isn’t a distant being or an idea. He is a person who is closer to us and loves us more than any of our family and friends. If God is a person, then prayer is more than just a ‘spiritual exercise’ but an intimate dialogue with our greatest friend.
He doesn’t just want us to simply believe in his existence. An important measure of a real Christian is someone that spends quality time with God each day through prayer. St John Damascene defines prayer as ‘the raising of one’s mind and heart to God’.
Friends naturally spend time talking to each other. Real friendships are nourished through quality time. We enjoy the company of another because we love them for who they are. So we don’t just pray to God because want something from Him – that would be simply using God. We pray to God because we love him for who he is.
God loves us for our unique selves. When we pray to him, he doesn’t expect us to use fancy and poetic language. He wants us to pray with simplicity. He wants us to pray as a child of God who isn’t afraid to be honest and real.
Prayer helps us to grow in our relationship with Christ. Prayer is a fundamental means to growing in our vocation to holiness.