Christianity Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for committed Christians, experts in Christianity and those interested in learning more. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

My question arose while pondering the answers to Praying to people outside the Trinity?

Is prayer any form of communication with God? Is it called prayer solely because its communication with God? Or is there a specific form and reverence that is necessary for communication with God to be a prayer?

If I ask a friend for something and then ask God for the exact same thing, the former is a petition and the latter a prayer?

share|improve this question
I cannot answer this question because it is too broad. The scope of activities, attitudes, and content that fall under the umbrella of prayer is great. Perhaps it is because of this that his disciples asked Jesus how to pray, prompting him to introduce "The Lord's Prayer". They did not want to know what prayer was, they wanted to know how to pray acceptably so that God would answer their prayers. The Bible has much better answers about how to pray acceptably (or unacceptably) than it does to questions about what prayer is. – Paul Chernoch Mar 19 at 23:42
up vote 4 down vote accepted


  1. a devout petition to God or an object of worship.

  2. a spiritual communion with God or an object of worship, as in supplication, thanksgiving, adoration, or confession.

Prayer is, essentially, any type of communication directed to God, whether thoughts or vocal words. It can also be, simply, the act of devoting your heart towards God.

Anything that is, as put it, "spiritual communion" can be prayer, including acts that are not normally considered religious (driving a car, flying a kite, etc.)

share|improve this answer
That last paragraph sounds like a definition for worship. Is there a difference? – user23 Sep 2 '11 at 0:06
Hmmm.. I would say that worship is a type of prayer, wouldn't you? When I worship, I tend to be in a state of prayer. – Richard Sep 4 '11 at 20:21

Prayer is defined by my (Lutheran) Church as being

A heart to heart talk with God.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.