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":
... 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 of India ... 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 ...
... accompanied him 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 ... 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 ...
... 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 ...
... 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 while ... 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:
“10 April 1800
Blacks rebellious. Crew uneasy. Our linguist says
their moaning is a prayer for death,
ours and their own.”
—Robert Earl Hayden (19131980)
“It is not only prayer that gives God glory but work. Smiting on an anvil, sawing a beam, whitewashing a wall, driving horses, sweeping, scouring, everything gives God some glory if being in his grace you do it as your duty.”
—Gerard Manley Hopkins (18441889)
“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.