This is a good prayer for anyone, but in particular for someone who has never prayed, been religious, or even believed in God, but wants to start. Don’t worry for now if you don’t really even understand what God is. He knows who He is, and if you say, “God”, as in the One Personal Deity who created and sustains the universe, He’ll know that you are talking to Him. He knows who He is. And He certainly knows exactly who you are.
It is eight words. Catholics who have actually been taught the faith will recognize it as an imperfect act of contrition. Like I said, it’s a start, and God can work with anything. It is also a prayer which He desperately, desperately wants to answer. He’s just waiting for you to simply say this to Him:
God, I don’t want to go to hell.
These eight words convery much. First, that one believes in God. Two, that one believes in hell. Three, that one believes that it is possible to end up in hell. Four, that one recognizes one might actually deserve to go to hell, or that one has sinned. Five, that one wants to not go to hell, which by deduction means that one does want to go to heaven. Six, that God is the Judge who will make the determination as to the fate of one’s eternal soul, which is why you are telling Him that you don’t want to go there and not the girl working the drive-thru window at Taco Bell.
The two most frequent prayers that I say are this and “Have mercy on me, O Lord, a sinner.” All day, every day.
I hope this helps.