In true prayer we take with us words of Truth, a statement of Truth, or an affirmation, and turn our attention within to the very center of our being, where the Father dwells. We affirm these words of Truth and meditate on them, then get very still and wait in the silence for God to make them real to us.
Prayer can be defined in many ways. It can be said to be "the taking hold of God's willingness." Jesus Christ forbade all prayers of doubt, but said, "All things whatsoever ye pray and ask for, believe that ye receive [received, margin] them, and ye shall have them" (Mark 11:24); and "Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him" (Matt. 6:8).
To one in understanding of Truth, prayer is an affirmation of that which is in Being. Then, why the necessity of the prayer, or affirmation, if the desired condition already is? In order that the creative law of the word may be fulfilled, we must pray. All things are in God as potentialities. It is man's share in the creative process to bring the unmanifest to manifestation. Everybody should pray. Through prayer we develop the highest phase of character and it softens and refines the whole man.
Prayer is not supplication, or begging, but a simple asking for and affirmation of that which we know is waiting for us at the hands of our Father. The prayer that Jesus gave as a model (Luke 11:1-4) is simplicity itself. There is in it none of that awe-inspiring "Oh, Thou !" which some ministers affect in public prayer, but the informal request of a son to his father for things needed.
"Father, Hallowed be thy name." Here is recognition of the all-inclusiveness and completeness of Divine Mind. Everything has its sustenance from this one source, therefore "the earth is Jehovah's, and the fulness thereof."
The law, "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap," is here shorn of its terrors. If we forgive others we shall be forgiven and the penalty of suffering for sins will be eliminated. It does not seem possible that God would lead us into temptation; in fact, in James 1:13 we are told plainly that God cannot be tempted of evil and that He tempts no man. This clause in the Lord's Prayer, "And bring us not into temptation," follows closely that concerning the forgiveness of sin, and it is evidently a part of it. Let not temptation lead us, is a permissible interpretation.
Jesus advised asking for what we want, and being steadfast in our demands. People ignorant of the relation in which man stands to God wonder why we should ask, and even importune, a Father who has provided all things for us. This is explained when we perceive that God is a great reservoir of mind that has to be tapped by man's mind, and through his thought or word poured into visibility. If the mind of man is clogged with doubt, lethargy, or fear, he must, through his faithful knocking and asking, open the way. We should "pray without ceasing." We should continue "steadfastly in prayer." We should acquire in prayer a facility in asking equal to the expert mathematician's swiftness in handling numbers; having done that, we shall get responses in like proportion.
We give our children what we consider good gifts, from our limited and transitory store, but when the gifts of God are put into our mind we have possessions that are eternal, that will go on producing for all time.