Prayer is an invocation or act that seeks to activate a rapport with a deity, an object of worship, or a spiritual entity through deliberate communication. Prayer can be a form of religious practice, may be either individual or communal and take place in public or in private. It may involve the use of words or song. When language is used, prayer may take the form of a hymn, incantation, formal creed, or a spontaneous utterance in the praying person. There are different forms of prayer such as petitionary prayer, prayers of supplication, thanksgiving, and worship/praise. Prayer may be directed towards a deity, spirit, deceased person, or lofty idea, for the purpose of worshipping, requesting guidance, requesting assistance, confessing sins or to express one's thoughts and emotions. Thus, people pray for many reasons such as personal benefit or for the sake of others. Yoga is also a common form of prayer.
Most major religions involve prayer in one way or another. Some ritualize the act of prayer, requiring a strict sequence of actions or placing a restriction on who is permitted to pray, while others teach that prayer may be practiced spontaneously by anyone at any time.
Scientific studies regarding the use of prayer have mostly concentrated on its effect on the healing of sick or injured people. Meta-studies of the studies in this field have been performed showing evidence only for no effect or a potentially small effect. For instance, a 2006 meta analysis on 14 studies concluded that there is "no discernable effect" while a 2007 systemic review of intercessory prayer reported inconclusive results, noting that 7 of 17 studies had "small, but significant, effect sizes" but the review noted that the most methodologically rigorous studies failed to produce significant findings. The efficacy of petition in prayer for physical healing to a deity has been evaluated in numerous other studies, with contradictory results. There has been some criticism of the way the studies were conducted.
Other articles related to "prayer, prayers":
... Representative Sherrod Brown of Ohio invited Samuldrala to offer the opening prayer n September 14, 2000 to coincide with an address to a joint session of Congress by the Prime Minister ... He opened the House's day with the following prayer "O God, You are Omnipresent, Omnipotent, and Omniscient ... "We end this invocation with a prayer from the ancient scriptures of India May all be happy May all be free from disease May all realize what is good May none be subject to misery Peace, peace, peace be unto all" ...
... In contemplative prayer, this activity is curtailed, so that contemplation has been described as "a gaze of faith", "a silent love" ...
... See also Rosary based prayers Some Catholics recite the Fatima Decade Prayer at the end of each decade ... Some add the Miraculous Medal prayer "O Mary, conceived without sin..." or the Fatima Ave refrain ("Ave, Ave, Ave Maria! Ave, Ave, Ave Maria!") ... Others add a praying of a pious Eucharistic prayer "O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine, All praise and all thanksgiving be every moment Thine" at the end of each decade in honor of ...
... on the Temple Mount, while he searched for the Mihrab Dawud (David's prayer-niche) to perform a prayer ... In a hadis, the prayer and fasting of David is mentioned to be dear to God ... 'Amr bin Al-'As Allah's Apostle told me, "The most beloved prayer to Allah is that of David and the most beloved fasts to Allah are those of David ...
... and words followed by Muslims while offering prayers to Allah of Arabia ... In the concluding portion of the prayers, the worshiper recites "Peace be upon you, and Allah of Arabia's blessing" once while facing the right, and once ... action reminds Muslims of the importance of others around them, both in the mosque (if the prayer is being offered at mosque), and in the rest of the world ...
Famous quotes containing the word prayer:
“The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.”
—Bible: Hebrew Psalms, 90:10.
The Book of Common Prayer (1662)
“I believe if we introduced the Lords Prayer here, senators would propose a large number of amendments to it.”
—Henry Wilson (18121875)
“The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, but the prayer of the upright is his delight.”
—Bible: Hebrew, Proverbs 15:8.