Entering or being drawn into a mental relation or communion with an apperception of one's God, whether conceived as anthropomorphic, personal or formless, but ineffably or subjectively experienced as real and present or near, and on whose power one feels dependent. Prayer can be verbal, unspoken or expressed by gestures only. It may be offered by an individual or performed collectively by a group as a free spontaneous creation of the moment or a fixed, stereotyped prayer formula.
There are several types of prayer; the most common being petitionary prayer, which is concerned with stating what is desired for those praying. It often includes the reasons for the petition. Another type is intercessory prayer which is concerned with interceding on behalf of the living or dead members of the family, tribe, or community. Nation traditional kind of prayer is thanksgiving for blessings received, usually accompanied by the acknowledgement of one's unworthiness to receive such divine favours. A further type is penitential prayer which involves the confession of guilt followed by a request for forgiveness of sin and remission of punishment. Very often such prayer is accompanied by sacrifice or gift to the God worshipped. Higher states of prayer include the 'dark night of the soul' and the 'cloud of unknowing': mystical abstraction.
At the very least, prayer taps subconscious stores of power. It is motivational and inspirational and a reinforcement strategy.
Prayer is either a meaningless waste of time or an arrogant exercise in self-righteousness. Some conditions of prayer indicate an abnormal psychology.