Since before recorded history, we’ve looked to the heavens for guidance.

Life comes with no instruction manual and, despite how long we stay “in the womb,” when it’s time to venture out into the big wide world, we still don’t seem to have a clue what’s going on.

And sometimes we just need someone to talk to.

More than basic conversation, albeit powerful in itself, prayer is a way of connecting to the heart of things. It’s the best listener you could ever find.


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And, often, that’s all we really need: Someone to listen to our struggles, our heartache, our thoughts, and wishes.

Perhaps you’re interested in hearing how someone other than your typical sources describes prayer. Perhaps you want to discover the fundamental elements of prayer itself. And, still, perhaps you’ve never prayed but you’re longing for a way to be heard.

No matter the case, there is a way to tap into the power of prayer even if you’re not religious.

Prayer is the key of the morning and the bolt of the evening.

Mahatma Gandhi

The fundamental nature of prayer


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Prayer is, essentially, the practice of speaking to a greater power.

At least, that’s the way it’s typically defined.

The nature of prayer is to speak, quite simply. To speak what is in your heart, to open up about what is going on in your mind.

This can be the act of:

  • Expressing pain, sorrow, or worries
  • Expressing gratitude
  • Asking for something
  • Directing energy to something or someone
  • Any other similar practice

For this reason, prayer is the fundamental contemplative practice. It allows us to explore our heart and mind in a way that few things– or, perhaps, nothing– allow us to do.

How to tap into the power of prayer

It’s possible to tap into the power of prayer without defining any particular religious theme, and it takes no more work than traditional prayer — except an open mind.

You might get down on bended knee, place your hands together (if you so choose), and be confused as to where to start. Don’t be.

Let what’s going on within your mind be the guide. Take a few moments to allow thoughts to surface and speak on what is most pressing.

Is something bothering you? Express what is bothering you, what you are thinking about it, and be honest. Say you don’t know what you’re doing if you feel that way. Say you’re scared if you need to. Whatever is going on inside of you, express it within your mind and leave no stone unturned.

Perhaps you feel amazing. This isn’t a reason not to pray but, rather, all the more reason. Take a moment to feel the gratitude swell within you and express that gratitude through your prayer. Express your appreciation for all the things and the people who made these amazing things possible.


Maybe it’s neither of these things. Maybe you feel helpless, confused, and you need somewhere to turn. Ask for strength. Ask for the perseverance to navigate your challenges or the patience to get through a difficult time with a loved one.

In each of these cases, it might seem like a fruitless effort to express what you feel deep within your heart. It’s not. When you’re done, you’ll feel a kind of lightness that is unmistakable.

No matter who or what you believe you’re speaking to (if anything at all), opening up about what we’re feeling from within is an effective healing method and, in the case of gratitude, allows us to magnify the power of said positivity.

Prayer is a powerful practice for all of us, no matter what you believe. So, take some time to let go and allow yourself to open up. I promise, prayer is the best listener you’ll ever find.