I've prayed for as long as I can remember. I used to consider myself a very strong Christian, but I stopped that when I realized that what I believe in is not Christianity, but rather the power of goodness and striving and change. I realized that I love nature and trust nature. And one of my biggest revelations is that my core beliefs had very little to do with the Christian bible or going to church. Throughout all of my self-introspection, I prayed and meditated as I had always done. It centers me and gives me peace and definitely brings clarity, as some of you have mentioned. I don't think I will ever stop praying, nor do I want to. It is beautiful.
Around the time that I was deeply questioning my beliefs, I came upon a book called Peace Is Every Step by a very simple, very marvelous human being, a Buddhist monk named Thich Nhat Hahn. From Thich Nhat Hahn I learned about the concept of "mindfulness," or the act of being fully aware, awake and conscious. What a wonderful form of prayer that is! This concept revolutionized prayer for me simply by showing me that I could be in a state of prayer all day long simply by being mindful. That book really helped change my life, and I still use it today as my choice book of guidance.
My husband (a former, very devout, Lutheran and grandson of a very respected Tanzanian Lutheran pastor) and I often discuss prayer in the Christian sense. There are many aspects of it that confuse me/us, for example, to have to repeatedly pray for peace or healing. And mind you, I do this as well. I'm not sure if that is very clear, and I am also a bit intimidated to pursue it any further. (That said though, I do think activism combined with prayer is phenomenal!)
I also believe strongly in giving thanks and showing gratitude as a form of prayer because, really, I am awed by so much in the world. I am awed by nature. I am awed by my child. I am floored by the goodness of so many people.
Without prayer, I would feel lost and disconnected. I guess that is it for me: essentially, prayer connects me to me and to goodness.