Prayer is extremely simple: communication with God, conversation with God, com-
muning with God. The most important thing about prayer is not how we do it but that
we do it. The single most important answer to the question How to pray? is "Begin!"
"Just do it." We learn to do it by doing it, not by merely reading or thinking about it.
One simply cannot be a Christian without prayer, any more than one can be a
Christian without faith or good works. What communication is to our marriage
relationship with our spouse, prayer is to our re-
lationship with God. If we say we love God but
do not pray, we lie. For love is intimacy and
intimacy is communication, and communication
with God is prayer.
Prayer is preparation for heaven, as courtship is
preparation for marriage. If Christ had to define
eternal life in one word, he would probably say
"prayer". For what he actually said was: "This is
eternal life that they know you, only true God"
(Jn 17:3). And we know God best by prayer.
We know God better by one moment of prayer
-of praise or thanks or contrition -than by a
thousand books. When we only talk about Him, we only know about Him; when we
talk to Him, we get to know Him.
Job got a fortaste of heaven, seeing God "face to face", because he spoke to God,
while his three friends only spoke about Him. Though God gave Job no explanations
for his mysterious trials, Job was satisfied because he had something infinitely
better than any answer: the Answerer. He said to God: "I had heard you by hearing
of the ear, but now my eye sees you" (Job 42:5). This is what heaven is: seeing
God. Prayer is its appetizer.