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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?

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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.)

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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.

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