I define prayer differently than most.
Prayer is one way a person can focus on a particular teaching, idea, another person or even reflective phrases used to help a person find their center. It is not so much a mechanism to call the divine to action, but rather one method used to help a person live in faithful practice to divine teachings.
When praying for something in “Jesus’ name” we do so focusing on his very character, and how it is recorded that he responded to injustice, showed mercy to others, and how he responded to adversity. Jesus is who I have chosen to focus on in my prayer life because I believe that he is the greatest exemplification of what it means to be human.This very well will make some feel uncomfortable, but I do not believe a person need to think or direct their prayer to the Triune God for it to be legitimate. There are a plethora of other forms of prayer that work well for others, and help draw themselves to live intentionally.
I believe that prayer needs to be taken back to its roots and find a helpful blend between both eastern and western practices. For far too long I personally allowed prayer to be something I did to excuse myself from action and focus my attention on the reception aspect as apposed to how I ought to live my life. Prayer is no longer about receiving anything in return, but is now concerned with seeing how I ought to respond in any given situation. Practicing contemplative prayer in two specific forms helps me find my center, reflect on my actions and move toward living a more contemplative life.
Links to forms of Contemplative Prayer: