Prayer is a form of direct communication with the Divine. There are many different prayer practices across many faith backgrounds, whether performed as a group or individually, whether out loud or alone, whether with song or music or in silence. Prayer is often viewed as a conversation with God or a divine presence, a way of deepening a spiritual relationship. St. Teresa of Avila, the sixteenth-century mystic, called prayer an “intimate friendship.” Others have called prayer a call or cry, an asking, or simply a communion. How we interpret the purpose or process of prayer depends a great deal on how we perceive the presence we are trying to connect with, and there are many philosophies from many different traditions on how to deepen, intensify, or improve our practice of prayer.