I love St. Therese of Lisieux’s definition of prayer found in (CCC 2558). She says, “For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy.” The beauty of prayer as described by St. Therese of Lisieux, and by the Church, is that the “surges of the heart,” the simple looks turned toward heaven,” come spontaneously to those who are humble enough to acknowledge their dependence upon the loving and merciful care of a Heavenly Father.
Prayer is a gift from God to those humble enough to acknowledge dependence upon His love and mercy and respond with praise and thanksgiving (CCC 2559). It is a covenant relationship with God as we come into communion with the love of the Trinity and our brothers and sisters in Christ (CCC 2564). Effective prayer stems from the heart. “According to Scripture, it is the heart that prays. If our heart is far from God, the words of prayer are in vain.” (CCC 2562)