Start reading on virtually any page of Scripture and you’ll encounter something absolutely stunning, though you likely won’t think anything of it:
God is talking to people.
And people are talking to God.
This, of course, is prayer. We tend to make it something mysterious (and it is!), or something you could spend your whole life developing (and you could!), but at root, prayer is simply communication between God and the human beings he created. From beginning to end in Scripture, prayer is simply assumed. It’s like no one thought to call attention to the concept that it’s possible, desirable, and important for human beings to be in conversation with God.
This could be frustrating. Many of us approach the Bible expecting it to be the one thing it certainly is not: a manual listing out techniques for performing religious duties. But the Bible rarely instructs us with any level of detail on techniques. Instead, it is overwhelmingly a book of stories of how God has worked with people. It’s a collection of prayers and songs and letters to and from people who are wrestling to be near to God. And it’s a documentary encapsulating all of the stunning and creative ways that God speaks to us and maneuvers to be near to us.
So if we want to learn to pray, we should start by doing what we find people throughout Scripture doing: simply talking to God. One of the most beautiful prayers in Scripture—Psalm 139—continuously asserts that God is absolutely everywhere. He can’t be escaped. So he’s right here now, with you. Don’t overthink it, at least not for today. Talk to him. He’s listening.
Note: In the midst of our busy schedules, it’s all too easy to succumb to the tyranny of the urgent and neglect prayer. For a helpful platform that will remind you regularly to stop and pray, consider using the Echo Prayer app (available in the iTunes and Google Play stores).