Prayer has to be learnt. It is like swimming. When you are first thrown into the water, you may sink. By repeated practice, one acquires the skill of staying afloat. Some people are more skilful swimmers because they have learned the rules and acquired the skills by constant practice. Take some time off every day to be silent, even if for five or 10 minutes, feel it, experience it, and observe it. That is the moment when you are you. When you are in silence you are living in the present, which we do not do very often.
The first rule in prayer as in swimming is to not give up just because you do not succeed in the first three or four attempts. It is a spiritual skill to be acquired by constant practice. The second rule is to ‘let go’, to let the water support you, to not be anxious but relaxed. Relax, trust in God. The third rule is to keep up the practice, even if you do not enjoy it. The fourth rule is to develop the discipline of prayer through fasting and self-control. Fifth, use your whole body in the service of prayer. Sixth, keep the balance between group prayer and personal prayer. Last, prayer needs to be nourished by reading scriptures and meditating every day. Systematic reading of the scriptures will be found helpful as life advances. Prayer can never be isolated from continuous, active compassionate love for your fellow men.
Silence does not mean absence of speech. It is an inner state. Something will automatically change in your state, in your nature and silence will establish itself. Even if you are in a catastrophe, no one can destroy your silence; no one can take the inner quiet away from you. Once it starts helping you, helping your evolution, you can enjoy the beauty of life. It is a state of consciousness. It is not an effort. If you are making an effort to be silent you are making more noise. It is an effortless effort. It will be born spontaneously with your understanding. It is the birthplace of your soul.