Here is my distilled essence of prayer. First, prayer is attitude. This means it includes occasional acts, but it is actually an ongoing disposition of the heart, not limited to fixed times of devotion.
Second, prayer is abandonment. It is taking every moment and saying, “Not my will but thine be done.” It is the surrender of egotism and the offering of our lives to God–what Saint Francis called being “an instrument of Your peace.”
And third, prayer is attentiveness, so that God can communicate with us as much in the ordinary moment as in the spectacular ones.
Almost everything else about prayer emerges from one of these three elements. In them we find the foundation for both personal and corporate prayer.