It is always interesting to discuss prayer with someone and see what their understanding of it is. I’ve learned some beautiful ways of connecting with God this way. It strikes me as funny, though, that most of us have some concept of levels of prayer. We understand so many things as a progression. Education goes from elementary school to college and beyond. A job goes from entry level to CEO. You don’t move around aimlessly; there is a direction. I would propose that prayer is a bit different. Yes, there are basic, childlike prayers that develop into deeper conversations with God. But, the difference between rote prayer, mediation, and contemplation also includes a difference in situation. In times when you don’t even know where to start, a memorized prayer can bring great comfort and support. In times where repetition just breeds a wandering mind, it is time to stop and really have a conversation. And there are times when just sitting in the presence of God is all that needs to be done. All of them propel us into the others. So, a “good” prayer is not about praying a certain way. “Good prayer” is all about what it does, and how well it draws us from where we are into the heart of our Lord.