The Lord’s Prayer was simply put and example of how to pray. Matthew 6:9 Jesus stated “This, then, is how you should pray” an example of how to, not always pray these words. The reason being, God wants to hear you pray the thanks and praise, the desires of your heart, the hurt and sorrow that resides within, the desire for guidance, and the blessings you give to others. God also desires you to do so in seclusion or away from others. All too many people believe their prayers will be heard over others because they are so boisterous, or use big $64,000 words, or due to the fact that they use so many words. Might I suggest that you just keep it simple, to the point, and humble?
I was born into the Roman Catholic faith and I had a great many problems understanding what was going on. I am not one to just blindly follow and I especially had a problem with the Priests essentially scaring me from ever reading the bible. One Priest essentially told us we were too stupid to understand it. I had to wonder, was God so harsh a creator that God didn’t want we little people to read and understand the word left to man? Were we to just blindly follow whatever the Priest told us? (That did not sit well with me.) There were plenty of people I know that did not have those problems I had, growing up. God uses everyone to accomplish all things. Consider Judas – he had a part in God’s plan. Later in life, I converted to Pentecostal, but had some issues there with both dogma, doctrine, and the church leadership acting in a way contrary to the tenets of the bible. I claim no religion, because each religion, despite what is stated, tends to follow doctrine or dogma rather than the biblical dictates. It is not a religion you seek, but rather a relationship with God. This is one reason I always say you must be willing to test & question your faith and be willing to change it in light of new information, within the context of the bible. Always question what others tell you are stated in the bible and you MUST, MUST, MUST always research it. I have heard many say that “God helps those who help themselves” was in the bible, but it is spoken in the Bhagavad Gita. Apparently, they just accepted what someone else had told them.
If you always pray the Lord’s Prayer, Hail Mary’s, etc. what exactly are you doing? What exactly are you asking of God? Praying in such a way (and I mean no disrespect as this is my opinion – God gave us those, too!) becomes more of an indoctrinated faith and a robotic exercise, or “babbling like pagans” or as the “hypocrites”. [Matt 6:5-7] God knows all that you need before you even ask of it.
You can pray anytime and you can pray all of the time, just keep God centered in your heart! In doing so, your life will become God centered.
Godspeed & God bless my friends!