What does prayer mean to you?

Local 10's Constance Jones asked viewers what they prayed for

Author: Constance Jones, Reporter, Anchor, CJones@Local10.com
Published On: Oct 19 2012 01:38:40 PM EDT   Updated On: Jan 04 2013 02:39:13 PM EST
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. -

For centuries, it's been an expression of our faith. Man's effort to connect with God, our creator, hoping for transformation.

But really, what is prayer?

"Prayer to me is connecting with God, I almost feel like I can talk to Him on a regular basis ... to give me hope, hope for the future," said Peter Viebrock.

"Prayer is my private time with God, the ability to open up and be transparent without judgment. Just the opportunity to be open and honest," said Keiron Brown.

"I think it's a way to have some quiet time and reflect about what I have and what I might need," said Gloria Mallardi.

To put it simply, prayer is communicating with God. Most religions have some form of prayer, and even instruction manuals on how to pray.

"Prayer can also be lamenting to God, which means crying, wailing, asking questions of 'why,'" said Dr. Nathaniel Holmes, Jr., a FMU Professor of Religion and Philosophy. "When you face tragedy, prayer and meditation become important to most people."

Among those we surveyed, most people say they pray for others, not themselves.

"I mainly pray for my family, my kids and family to hope things go well for them -- mainly for their health and moving forward," said Peter Viebrock.

"Always for my little boy -- that he is happy and healthy and well adjusted in life," said Gloria Mallardi

Six-year-old Brendan Kennedy said he thinks everyone should pray.

"People should pray to God. Everything will be fine and God helps you," he said.

And here's a tidbit of trivia for you. The earliest act of prayer was recorded as early as 5,000 years ago.

Many anthropologists believe even the earliest modern humans practiced something that we would identify as prayer.