I admit it – prayer is one of those aspects of spirituality that I haven’t always been comfortable with. In my younger years, before I really understood what it meant to “pray”, I always envisioned those who prayed as groveling servants hoping deity would throw them a bone for being subservient and obedient.
As I got older I realized that prayer, while often seen as a plea for help from the weak, could actually be both invocation and evocation.
Wikipedia (yes, biggest bathroom wall on the Internet), defines prayer as “an invocation or act that seeks to activate a rapport with a deity, an object of worship, or a spiritual entity through deliberate communication.”
I rather like this definition because it doesn’t judge what that communication entails necessarily. Some use prayer as a magickal genii, hoping to get something whether it be favor, wisdom, material goods, or even emotional relief. Others use prayer as a method to evoke certain things from within the divine self or to invoke certain things from the divine external.
All of that said, I tend to use prayer most as a method of honoring the Daemonic, as a method to evoke and invoke wisdom, strength, and opportunity, and I leave the misnomer of prayer = groveling to the people who really think gods are magick genii in a bottle ready to grant them three wishes.
Yes, prayer does have a place in my practice. Yes, it’s a very personal thing. No, I don’t think you can really do it wrong. Do what’s right for you.