Prayer is required, but are questions and thoughts directed towards G-d acceptable? Would they be viewed as too informal? Obviously you wouldn't expect a direct response to them, but can they be viewed as a form of prayer? As if by bringing up a subject through thought or asking a direct question, you are praying for a better understanding of the world concerning whichever question or thought you had.

  • IIRC, an ill person who can not verbalize his prayers, may think them, and this would be considered as if he prayed. I need to research the source for this. – DanF Apr 26 '15 at 20:50
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    The formalization of prayer was done later on in halachic history. Prior to that point, a person could and most certainly would "direct thoughts, questions, and requests" toward Hashem. See the story of Chana at the beginning of Sefer Shmuel that operates as both point and counterpoint to this issue. – Isaac Kotlicky Apr 26 '15 at 21:28
  • @IsaacKotlicky Excellent example! I believe that her story is the foundation of several halachot regarding how we are supposed to do tefillah today. – DanF Apr 27 '15 at 0:25

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