Before we talk about what prayer is, let’s look at what it isn’t.

It isn’t a guinness record for speed trials.  Read the following mealtime prayer in less than nine seconds:  “Dear heavenly Father, thank You for this wonderful day and all that You have provided.  We pray for this food we’re about to pratake of, bless the hands that provided it, bless the stomachs that receive it.  In Jesus name we pray, amen.

It’s not the “Let’s be funny at God’s expense”.  Prayer: “Rub a dub dub, thanks for the grub. Yea God!”

It is not getting into a rut and praying the same thing over and over again:  “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep.  If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.”

It is not the unconscious bedtime prayer:  “Now I lay me down to sleep . . . . . I swing and hit that ball really deep.  Wow, I lost my train of thought.  Let see, where was I?   Oh yeah, if Ishould die before I wake . . . . . I sure hope I put away the rake.”

It’s not your “Lie down and get real comfortable before I go to sleep”  bedtime prayer:  “Dear Jesus (yawn), I just thank (yawn), You for this wonder . . . . . . (snore) ah, I mean, this wonderful (yawn), day that You’ve given me, and I just pray that You’re always wonder . . . . . (snore).”  Then the first thing you do in the morning when you wake up is (snort, stretch, yawn), “Oh yeah, in Jesus name I pray, amen.

It’s definitely not the “Let’s try to impress everyone” prayer:  “Our most gracious, heavenly Father, I humbly cry out to You.  Where are the agrapha to help us understand amillennialism?  We thank You for Your ubiquity, and we reject theosophy.  So I declare this prayer nihil obstat, and Lord, I pray this prayer mostly for the little children. Amen.”

Prayer is not writing something out so we get it perfect.