An act of the virtue of religion which consists in asking proper gifts or gracesfrom God. In a more general sense it is the application of the mind to Divine things, not merely to acquire a knowledge of them but to make use of such knowledge as a means of union with God. This may be done byacts of praise and thanksgiving, but petition is the principal act of prayer.
The words used to express it in Scripture are: to call up (Genesis 4:26); to intercede(Job 22:10); to mediate(Isaiah 53:10); to consult (1 Samuel 28:6); And thy plight this day is the punishment the Lord sends thee for disobeying his command, instead of executing his vengeance on Amalec; 19 over thee and all Israel he will give the Philistines mastery. To-morrow, thou and thy sons will be with me, and the Lord will leave the camp of Israel at the mercy of the Philistines.15 Dixit autem Samuel ad Saul: Quare inquietasti me ut suscitarer? Et ait Saul: Coarctor nimis: siquidem Philisthiim pugnant adversum me, et Deus recessit a me, et exaudire me noluit neque in manu prophetarum, neque per somnia: vocavi ergo te, ut ostenderes mihi quid faciam. 16 Et ait Samuel: Quid interrogas me, cum Dominus recesserit a te, et transierit ad æmulum tuum? 17 Faciet enim tibi Dominus sicut locutus est in manu mea, et scindet regnum tuum de manu tua et dabit illud proximo tuo David: 18 quia non obedisti voci Domini, neque fecisti iram furoris ejus in Amalec: idcirco quod pateris, fecit tibi Dominus hodie. 19 Et dabit Dominus etiam Israël tecum in manus Philisthiim: cras autem tu et filii tui mecum eritis: sed et castra Israël tradet Dominus in manus Philisthiim.20 καὶ ἔσπευσεν Σαουλ καὶ ἔπεσεν ἑστηκὼς ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν καὶ ἐφοβήθη σφόδρα ἀπὸ τῶν λόγων Σαμουηλ καὶ ἰσχὺς ἐν αὐτῷ οὐκ ἦν ἔτι οὐ γὰρ ἔφαγεν ἄρτον ὅλην τὴν ἡμέραν καὶ ὅλην τὴν νύκτα ἐκείνην 21 καὶ εἰσῆλθεν ἡ γυνὴ πρὸς Σαουλ καὶ εἶδεν ὅτι ἔσπευσεν σφόδρα καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτόν ἰδοὺ δὴ ἤκουσεν ἡ δούλη σου τῆς φωνῆς σου καὶ ἐθέμην τὴν ψυχήν μου ἐν τῇ χειρί μου καὶ ἤκουσα τοὺς λόγους οὓς ἐλάλησάς μοι 22 καὶ νῦν ἄκουσον δὴ φωνῆς τῆς δούλης σου καὶ παραθήσωἐνώπιόν σου ψωμὸν ἄρτου καὶ φάγε καὶ ἔσται ἐν σοὶ ἰσχύς ὅτι πορεύσῃ ἐν ὁδῷ 23 καὶ οὐκ ἐβουλήθη φαγεῖν καὶ παρεβιάζοντο αὐτὸν οἱ παῖδες αὐτοῦ καὶ ἡ γυνή καὶ ἤκουσεν τῆς φωνῆς αὐτῶν καὶ ἀνέστη ἀπὸ τῆς γῆς καὶ ἐκάθισεν ἐπὶ τὸν δίφρον24 καὶ τῇ γυναικὶ ἦν δάμαλις νομὰς ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ καὶ ἔσπευσεν καὶ ἔθυσεν αὐτὴν καὶ ἔλαβεν ἄλευρα καὶ ἐφύρασεν καὶ ἔπεψεν ἄζυμα 25 καὶ προσήγαγεν ἐνώπιον Σαουλ καὶ ἐνώπιον τῶν παίδων αὐτοῦ καὶ ἔφαγον καὶ ἀνέστησαν καὶ ἀπῆλθον τὴν νύκτα ἐκείνην20 With that, Saul fell his full length on the ground, so daunted was he by Samuel's words, so weak from taking no food all that day. 21 The woman went to his side, seeing him thus overcome; My lord, she said, I obeyed thee at the peril of my life, and since I have so humoured thee, 22 wilt thou not humour this handmaid of thine, by letting her set a mouthful of food before thee, to give thee strength for thy journey by the eating of it? 23 But he refused to take any food, until his servants and the woman together put constraint on him; then at last he rose from the ground and sat on the bed. 24 The woman had a calf by her that she had fattened; this she killed without more ado, took flour and kneaded it and baked it without leaven,25 and so she gave Saul and his men their meal. When they had eaten it they rose to go, and on they journeyed the whole night through as he Saul rose.