Prayer is not adoration. Adoration is good. We ought to adore Him whom the angels adore. But adoration is not prayer, and prayer is not adoration. Prayer is always asking. It is not anything else but asking.
Prayer is not meditation. It is proper to meditate day and night in the Word of God. Quiet devotion and meditating upon the Word of God and upon the Lord’s blessings are fine. Every Christian ought to take such times for meditation. But remember that that is not prayer. The Bible never calls it prayer, and we sin against God and misuse the Scriptures and pervert the truth, when we call such things prayer. Prayer is not meditation. Prayer is asking.
Humiliation is not prayer, though it is certainly proper for Christians to humble themselves before God. James 4:10 says, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” And we are told in Luke 18:14 that, “he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” But humiliation is not prayer. The Bible expressly separates them. 2 Chronicles 7:14 says, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray.” So humiliation is one thing, and prayer is another thing. Humiliation is preparation for prayer, perhaps, and humiliation is always proper in a Christian. But humility and humiliation are not prayer. Prayer is asking.
Even confession is not strictly prayer. It is proper for Christians to confess their sins, and the Bible many times commands it; but confession is one thing, and prayer is another. In Daniel 9:4, Daniel tells us, “And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession.” Daniel both prayed and made confession. If you will read through that long passage which tells us of Daniel’s prayer and confession together, you will find that much of it is confession but that after confession came the brokenhearted requests of Daniel 9:16-19 that God would turn His anger and fury away from Jerusalem and forgive the sins of His people and restore the nation and the holy city, Jerusalem, and the temple. Confession is proper, but confession, strictly speaking, is not prayer. Prayer is ASKING. And asking is prayer, and nothing else is really prayer.
In Philippians 4:6 the Lord says, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” Note that prayer is one thing and that thanksgiving is a separate thing. With this as a key thought, go through the Scripture, and you will find that often the Scripture speaks of prayer and supplication, prayer and confession, prayer and thanksgiving. Thus, the heart of prayer is to ask something from God. Everything else is an incidental which is not essentially a part of prayer. Asking is prayer, and prayer is asking.
So when God invites us to pray He invites us to ask things of Him.