Prayer is the mother and origin of every upward striving of the soul. - St. Bonaventure
What is Prayer?
Prayer is a form of communication, a way of talking to God or to the saints. Prayer may be formal or informal. While formal prayer is an important element of Christian worship, prayer itself is not synonymous with worship or adoration.
The origin of the Term
The word pray is first found in Middle English, meaning to "ask earnestly." It comes from the Old French preier, which is derived from the Latin word precari, which simply means to entreat or ask.
Talking to God
While we often think of prayer primarily as asking God for something, prayer, properly understood, is a conversation with God or with the saints. Just as we cannot hold a conversation with another person unless he can hear us, the very act of praying is an implicit recognition of the presence of God or the saints here with us. And in praying, we strengthen that recognition of the presence of God, which draws us closer to Him. That is why the Church recommends that we pray frequently and make prayer an important part of our daily lives.