What is prayer?

a-woman-holds-her-hands-in-prayer-during-a-rain-storm_0.jpgPrayer has a very personal meaning arising from an individual's religious background or spiritual practice. For some, prayer will mean specific sacred words; for others, it may be a more informal talking or listening to God or a higher power. 

The word "prayer" comes from the Latin precarius, which means "obtained by begging, to entreat." Prayer is rooted in the belief that there is a power greater than oneself that can influence one's life. It is the act of raising hearts and minds to God or a higher power. 

There is no one set way to pray. Forms include spoken prayers, silent prayers, and prayers of the mind, the heart, and union with God. Prayers may be directed (e.g., prayers for specific things) or non-directed, with no specific outcome in mind.