The Meaning of Prayer

I’ve been thinking a lot about prayer lately.

I’m completely new to Neopaganism… I actually come from a Catholic background. For years, it was ‘Our Father’ and ‘Hail Mary’ and rosaries. Before meals, on planes, before marching band performances in high school (seriously), in fear or gratitude, there was a prayer for every occasion. Now, though, I’m feeling a little lost. I no longer have the security blanket of those memorized prayers. I know the rituals and practices of ADF will become familiar with time, but in the mean time, I feel a little lost.

And in the midst of that feeling, I was wondering what prayer even means at this stage. Specifically, my question was this: If ADF is a sacrificial religion, meaning we offer sacrifice to the Kindreds in hope of a reciprocal offering of blessings (or what have you), what is the point of spontaneous prayer? If I have no offering to make, will the Kindreds even listen to me?

I expressed this concern to my fiancé who, incidentally, is not remotely religious — apathetic, not atheistic — and he said this: Prayer is an offering of time and spirit.

That hit me hard. I offer myself, my time, my devotion, and my love… And if I cannot express my gratitude in another way, offering myself is enough. It’s comforting. And when I am able to make a physical sacrifice, someone will be listening.