If God feels far away when you begin to pray, what are you to do in this case? Should you stop and pray some other time, saying, "Well I'm not getting through today, I'll come back tomorrow"? Oh no! In fact you probably need prayer most at that moment. You see, instead of not praying at that moment, you should simply be still and, looking to God, ask Him to work through His Holy Spirit to make Himself real to you and to lead you into His presence. Many Christians find that their most wonderful times of prayer are those in which they start without clear sense of God's presence, but come to it fully by praying. 

Second, the fact that you come to God through Christ means that you can come without guilt. One of my friends says that he believes guilt is the major culprit in keeping people from praying, and I believe he is right. People do feel guilty before God. They feel ashamed and unqualified to ask anything from Him. There are good reasons for this guilt, too, but the fact that you come through Jesus Christ means that you come as one whose guilt is removed. Yes, you are a sinner; but the sin has been dealt with and so now you stand as a righteous person before God. 

Now perhaps you have another question at this point. For if it is true that prayer is communing with God, the question naturally comes up about the means of access to Him. How can a sinful human being approach a God who is holy? Is it even possible? And if it is, what does it mean in terms of the way that we can approach him? 

In yesterday’s study, I said that people sometimes ask me questions such as when they should pray, how they should pray, or even why they should pray. Now all these questions have been asked by others, and they were asked in Christ's day. So when Jesus began to teach about prayer, He dealt with them—sometimes by direct teaching, and at other times by example, as in the Lord's Prayer, one of His most helpful teachings about prayer. Jesus said, "And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are; for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and at the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy room, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father, who is in secret; and thy Father, who seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the pagans do; for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye, therefore, like unto them; for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of before ye ask him" (Matt. 6:5-8). 

People ask me when they should pray and how they should pray. Sometimes they even ask, "Why should I pray?" Well, it's with questions like these that we want to deal, and many of them are answered when we realize that prayer is basically talking with God. Therefore it should be as natural for us to pray as for a child to come to his parents for guidance, for consolation, help, or merely sharing the day's experiences. If you are a child of God—as the Bible says you are if you have admitted that you are a sinner, believed on the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, and committed yourself to Him—then there need be no restrictions on the time, place or manner in which you speak to Him.