Before you enter into prayer, ask thy soul these questions — To what end, O my soul, art thou retired into this place? Art thou not come to discourse the Lord in prayer? Is he present; will he hear thee? Is he merciful; will he help thee? Is thy business slight; is it not concerning the welfare of thy soul? What words wilt thou use to move him to compassion?
To make thy preparation complete, consider that thou art but dust and ashes, and he the great God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, that clothes himself with light as with a garment; that thou art a vile sinner, he a holy God; that thou art but a poor crawling worm, he the omnipotent Creator.
In all your prayers forget not to thank the Lord for his mercies.
When thou prayest, rather let thy hearts be without words, than thy words without a heart. Prayer will make a man cease from sin, or sin will entice a man to cease from prayer. The spirit of prayer is more precious than treasures of gold and silver.
Pray often, for prayer is a shield to the soul, a sacrifice to God, and a scourge for Satan.
John Bunyan (1628 – 1688)