Don’t you love listening to a child pray? Many of us can remember praying as children. It was simple then because our young hearts approached God with sweet, unguarded directness. “Gentle Jesus meek and mild, look upon a little child.” As we grew up, our prayers changed. We looked to parents or other believers or church leaders for direction on the mature and ‘right’ ways to pray.

Sadly, many of us now find that the pure, clear communication with God we had as children has collected some static along the way. The business and perils of life have polluted our ability to speak to God and hear from him. Structure and intimidating labels like ‘intercessor’ and ‘prayer warrior’ have crept into our church culture, adding to the pressure. We’ve lost our own voice, and prayer now feels like a chore.

If we could only hear the heart of our Lord! “Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’” (Isaiah 58:9 ESV). “Turn and look,” he says, “I am here, beside you. Just call on me; no instruction or skillset needed.”

No matter how you pray — quiet meditation, songs of worship, journaling prayers, tearful conversations — the soul connection is the same. People around the world are praying right now. They are shouting, chanting, whispering in cathedrals and tents, penthouses and prisons. Some like to walk and pray; some can only sit and silently mouth the words. It doesn’t matter to God. What he loves is that we are acknowledging his presence and sharing what is in our hearts with him. As my friend Pastor Carter Conlon says, “To me, praying is as natural as breathing.”

Consider the words of David: “You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether” (Psalm 139:3-4).This beautiful chapter is a poem of praise to a God who knows us intimately and wants our companionship. Here I am. Talk with me.

Does your heart long to return to that sweet, unadorned relationship with God? Do you desire a prayer life that anchors and sustains you? You can have it today. Begin with an open heart and simple, honest words. He will meet you there.