In short, prayer is our conversation with God. It is not a monologue but a dialogue. It is sincere and intimate.
We can approach prayer in 2 ways: narrow sense and broad sense.
Narrow sense: Prayer is the specific act we perform with God as its object.
Broad sense: Prayer is the relationship with God. That is why we even say that work is prayer, because prayer is about conversation, and relationship.
For eg. Married couples, already in a loving relationship, whether they are doing this or that, they are still in the relationship, with love binding them. They share their activities, and both their general condition and specific actions are important.
If they don't make an effort to express love, their loving condition will die down, and can't go on.
Even though we know and love God, we should pray, because without that, our relationship will become weakened eventually.
Actually how we lead our relationships, what kind of relationship we have with Him is also very important. In Christianity, more than what we do, who we are is important.
When we really want to grow the power of prayer, we definitely have to change ourselves and become who we are supposed to be.
If we want to be connected with God, actually we should have similarity. We should have similar characteristics. If God is humble, it is harder for arrogant people to meet Go.
If we become humble and lowered, we are already connected. In the spiritual world, there is no boundary. There are only boundaries of our hearts. Jesus is always knocking our door, and he wants to eat and drink with us together.
Human relationships have a lot of barriers between people. But how easy it is to draw ourselves near to God, because he doesn't have any barriers. He is open, and is more than willing to enter us.
Entering us is something deep. This means God chose to live in us. It is not possible when we use our own thoughts and our own ways. God is a humble God, because He wants to live in us.
God is loving and generous to all of us. He wants to enter us deep, and wants us to give himself to us. When we enter the deep union with God, then no matter what we do, our hearts will be always looking at God, and will be with God.
Prayer means being with him, and if we are with him, then prayer becomes easy.
Brother Lawrence, serving in the kitchen in monastery, he felt the presence of God all the time. It will be so amazing, if we find ourselves in prayer all the time, then no time will be wasted. We say work is prayer, life is prayer.
We ourselves are the living sacrifices before God. We are the fragrance that is going up and up towards God only. We should have a desperate longing for God. We should change.
Also, without acts, we cannot grow in prayer. But who we are determines who we are in prayer. If we go broad, prayer is the person. The person himself is the prayer. That is what is inside of us, that is our spirituality.