The instinct to pray is universal. Particularly in times of deep trouble, an urge to reach out to a source beyond the limits of the personal self can arise in even the most secular person, a heart-felt longing to petition, beg, plead or bargain for a way out. The desire may later be dismissed as primitive, which it is - in the true sense of instinctive to the human psyche.
Allied to a structure of Faith however, prayer becomes more than a desperate cry for help, and creates a foundation involving mind, heart and life choices The structure can be more or less sophisticated, ranging from the superstitious to the deepest wisdom and intelligence.
As a spiritual practice, prayer becomes a continuous turning of the heart towards a life-principle or creative source greater than personal, known by many names. In this relationship, the act of prayer can evolve from words to the wordless, from formulations to silence, from seeking to knowing.