Prayer is the act of attempting to communicate, commonly with a sequence of words, with a deity or spirit for the purpose of worshipping, requesting guidance, requesting assistance, confessing sins, as an act of reparation or to express one's thoughts and emotions. See also List of deities A deity is a Postulated Preternatural or Supernatural Being, who is always This article refers to the religious act For the album by Michael W Sin is a term used mainly in a religious context to describe an act that violates a moral Rule, or the state of having committed such a violation In the Roman Catholic tradition an Act of Reparation is a prayer or devotion with the intent to repair the " sins of others " e In Psychology, emotional expression is observable verbal and nonverbal behaviour that communicates Emotion. The words of the prayer may take the form of intercession, a hymn, incantation or a spontaneous utterance in the person's praying words. A language is a dynamic set of visual auditory or tactile Symbols of Communication and the elements used to manipulate them Distinguish from "inter-session" ie "between Sessions " Intercession, in both Christianity and Islam, A hymn is a type of Song, usually religious specifically written for the purpose of praise adoration or Prayer, and typically addressed to a deity/deities An incantation or incantations are the words spoken during a Ritual, either a Hymn or Prayer invoking or praising a Deity, or in magic Secularly, the term can also be used as an alternative to "hope". Hope is a Belief in a positive outcome related to events and Circumstances in one's life
Pray entered Middle English as preyen, prayen,and preien around 1290, recorded in The early South-English Legendary I. Middle English is the name given by Historical linguistics to the diverse forms of the English language spoken between the Norman invasion of 112/200: And preide is fader wel ȝerne, in the sense of "to ask earnestly. " The next recorded use in 1300 is simply "to pray. " The word came from to English from Old French preier, "to request" (first seen in La Séquence de Ste. Old French was the Romance Dialect continuum spoken in territories which span roughly the northern half of modern France and parts of modern Belgium Eulalie, ca. 880) In modern French prier, "to pray," the stem-vowel is leveled under that of the stem-stressed forms, il prie, etc. The origin of the word before this time is less certain. Compare the Italian Pregare "to ask" or more rarely "pray for something" and Spanish preguntar "ask. "
One possibility is the Late Latin precare (as seen in Priscian), classical Latin precari "to entreat, pray" from Latin precari, from precor, from prec-, prex "request, entreaty, prayer. Vulgar Latin (in Latin sermo vulgaris, "folk speech" is a Blanket term covering the popular Dialects and Sociolects of the Latin Priscianus Caesariensis ( fl 500 AD commonly known as Priscian, was a Latin grammarian. Classical Latin is the form of the Latin language used by the ancient Romans in what is usually regarded as "classical" Latin literature. " Precor was used by Virgil, Livy, Cicero, and Ovid in the accusative. Publius Vergilius Maro ( October 15, 70 BCE &ndash September 21, 19 BCE later called Virgilius, and known in English as Virgil or Titus Livius (traditionally 59 BC &ndash AD 17 known as Livy in English, was a Roman historian who wrote a monumental history of Rome Marcus Tullius Cicero ( Classical Latin ˈkikeroː usually ˈsɪsərəʊ in English January 3, 106 BC &ndash December 7, 43 BC was a Roman Publius Ovidius Naso ( March 20, 43 BC – 17 AD was a Roman poet known to the English -speaking world as Ovid who wrote on many topics including The accusative case ( abbreviated ACC) of a Noun is the Grammatical case used to mark the Direct object of a Transitive Dative forms are also found in Livy and Aurelius Propertius. With pro in the ablative, it is found in Plinius Valerianus’s physic, and Aurelius Augustinus’s Epistulae. In Linguistics, ablative case ( abbreviated ABL) is a name given to cases in various languages whose common characteristic It also could be used for a thing. From classical times, it was used in both religious and secular senses. Prex is recorded as far back as T. Maccius Plautus (254 B. C. – ?). Other senses of precor include "to wish well or ill to any one," "to hail, salute," or "address one with a wish. " The Latin orare "to speak" later took over the role of precari to mean "pray. "
The Spanish form preguntar was first recorded in El Cantar de Mio Çid (ca. 1150) and possibly comes from Vulgar Latin praecontare, an alteration of the Classical Latin percontari, perconto, percontor "interrogate" although the Spanish verb for "pray" today is (among Catholics) rezar, which previously meant "to say" from the Latin recitare. Vulgar Latin (in Latin sermo vulgaris, "folk speech" is a Blanket term covering the popular Dialects and Sociolects of the Latin Among Spanish-speaking Protestants, the verb orar is used instead, and a prayer is called oración. The Portuguese word pregar "to preach," or less commonly, "to exhort," is also mentioned at times, although it is from the Latin praedicare, "to cry in public, proclaim," hence "to declare, state, say," in medieval Latin "to preach," and in Logic "to assert," from præ "forth" + dicare "to make known, proclaim. Portuguese ( or língua portuguesa) is a Romance language that originated in what is now Galicia (Spain and northern Portugal. " Compare the Spanish predicar. More closely related is the Portuguese perguntar, "to ask" and by extension "ask for. " Pray is akin to Old English gefr[AE]ge "hearsay, report," fricgan, frignan, frinan to ask, inquire, Old High German fraga question, fragen "to ask" (in modern German, "pray" is beten, "question" frage), Old Norse frett "question," fregna "to inquire, find out," Gothic fraihman "to find out by inquiry," Tocharian A prak- "to ask," Sanskrit roots, pracch- prask-, pras "interrogation," and prcchati "he asks"
The great spiritual traditions offer a wide variety of devotional acts. There are morning and evening prayers, graces said over meals, and reverent physical gestures. Some Christians bow their heads and fold their hands. Native Americans dance. Some Sufis whirl. Hindus chant. Orthodox Jews sway their bodies back and forth and Muslims kneel as seen on the right. A Muslim (مسلم pronounced Muslim, not Muzlim) is an adherent of the Religion Quakers keep silent. Some pray according to standardized rituals and liturgies, while others prefer extemporaneous prayers. Still others, combine the two. Among these methodologies are a variety of approaches to understanding prayer:
The act of prayer is attested in written sources as early as 5000 years ago.  Some anthropologists believe that the earliest intelligent modern humans practiced something that we would recognize today as prayer. Anthropology (/ˌænθɹəˈpɒlədʒi/ from Greek grc ἄνθρωπος anthrōpos, "human" -λογία -logia) is the study of
"Prayer" can also be used in the legal sense to refer to a case that the party of the prosecution brings before the court. The plaintiff's demands are known collectively as the "prayer" or "prayer for relief. "
Praying has many different forms. Prayer may be done privately and individually, or it may be done corporately in the presence of fellow believers. Prayer can be incorporated into a daily "thought life," in which one is in constant communication with a god. Some people pray throughout all that is happening during the day and seek guidance as the day progresses. There can be many different answers to prayer, just as there are many ways to interpret an answer to a question, if there in fact comes an answer. Some may experience audible, physical, or mental epiphanies. If indeed an answer comes, the time and place it comes is considered random. Some outward acts that sometimes accompany prayer are: anointing with oil; ringing a bell; burning incense or paper; lighting a candle or candles; facing a specific direction (i. e. towards Mecca or the East); making the sign of the cross. Mecca ˈmɛkə also spelled Makkah ˈmækə (in full Makkah Al-Mukarramah (Arabic mækːæ(t ælmʊkarˑamæ مكّة المكرمة, literally Honored The Sign of the Cross, or Signum crucis in Latin is a ritual hand motion made by members of many but not all branches of Christianity. One less noticeable act related to prayer is fasting.
A variety of body postures may be assumed, often with specific meaning (mainly respect or adoration) associated with them: standing; sitting; kneeling; prostrate on the floor; eyes opened; eyes closed; hands folded or clasped; hands upraised; holding hands with others; a laying on of hands and others. Prayers may be recited from memory, read from a book of prayers, or composed spontaneously as they are prayed. They may be said, chanted, or sung. They may be with musical accompaniment or not. There may be a time of outward silence while prayers are offered mentally. Often, there are prayers to fit specific occasions, such as the blessing of a meal, the birth or death of a loved one, other significant events in the life of a believer, or days of the year that have special religious significance. Details corresponding to specific traditions are outlined below.
In the pre-Christian religions of Greeks and Romans (Ancient Greek religion, Roman religion), ceremonial prayer was highly formulaic and ritualized. Greek religion encompasses the collection of beliefs and rituals practiced in Ancient Greece in the form of both popular public religion and cult practices. Ancient Roman religion encompasses the collection of Beliefs and Rituals practised in Ancient Rome in the form of Cult practices A ritual is a set of actions often thought to have Symbolic value the performance of which is usually prescribed by a Religion or by the Traditions The Iguvine Tables contain a supplication that can be translated, "If anything was said improperly, if anything was done improperly, let it be as if it were done correctly. The Iguvine Tables were a series of seven Bronze tablets discovered at Iguvium, contemporary Gubbio, in Italy in the year 1444. "
The formalism and formulaic nature of these prayers led them to be written down in language that may have only been partially understood by the writer, and our texts of these prayers may in fact be garbled. Prayers in Etruscan were used in the Roman world by augurs and other oracles long after Etruscan became a dead language. The Etruscan Language was spoken and written by the Etruscan civilization in the ancient region of Etruria (modern Tuscany plus western The Augur was a priest and official in the classical world especially Ancient Rome and Etruria. An oracle is a person or agency considered to be a source of wise counsel or prophetic opinion an Infallible authority usually spiritual in nature The Carmen Arvale and the Carmen Saliare are two specimens of partially preserved prayers that seem to have been unintelligible to their scribes, and whose language is full of archaisms and difficult passages. The Carmen Arvale is the preserved chant of the Arval priests or Fratres Arvales of ancient Rome. The Carmen Saliare is a fragment of archaic Latin, which played a part in the Rituals performed by the Salii (Salian Priests In Language, an archaism is the use of a form of speech or writing that is no longer current
Roman prayers and sacrifices were often envisioned as legal bargains between deity and worshipper. Sacrifice (from a Middle English verb meaning "to make sacred" from Old French, from Latin sacrificium: sacr, "sacred" In some Religions law can be thought of as the ordering principle of Reality; Knowledge as revealed by God defining and governing all human affairs The Roman formula was do ut des: "I give, so that you may give in return. " Cato the Elder's treatise on agriculture contains many examples of preserved traditional prayers; in one, a farmer addresses the unknown deity of a possibly sacred grove, and sacrifices a pig in order to placate the god or goddess of the place and beseech his or her permission to cut down some trees from the grove. Marcus Porcius Cato ( Latin: M·PORCIVS·M·F·CATO (234 BC Tusculum &ndash149 BC was a Roman statesman surnamed the Censor Agriculture refers to the production of goods through the growing of plants and fungi and the raising of domesticated Animals The study of agriculture
An amount of accounts of prayers to the gods in Germanic paganism survived the process of Christianization, though only a single prayer has survived without the interjection of Christian references. In Old Norse, áss (or ǫ́ss ás, plural æsir, feminine ásynja, feminine plural ásynjur) is the term denoting one of the principal Germanic paganism refers to the religious beliefs of the Germanic peoples preceding Christianization. The historical phenomenon of Christianization (or Christianisation &mdash see spelling differences) the conversion of individuals to Christianity This prayer is recorded in stanzas 2 and 3 of the poem Sigrdrífumál, compiled in the 13th century Poetic Edda from earlier traditional sources, where the valkyrie Sigrdrífa prays to the gods and the earth after being woken by the hero Sigurd. Sigrdrífumál or Brynhildarljóð is one of the heroic poems of the Poetic Edda. The Poetic Edda is a collection of Old Norse poems primarily preserved in the Icelandic mediaeval Manuscript Codex Regius. In Norse mythology the valkyries ( Old Norse Valkyrja "Choosers of the Slain" are Dísir, minor female deities Sigrdrífa is Valkyrie in Norse mythology. She appears in Sigrdrífumál as the mentor of Sigurd ( Old Norse: In Norse mythology, Jörð ( Old Norse "earth" jɔrð Jarð jɑrð in Old East Norse --> sometimes Anglicized as Jord Sigurd ( Old Norse: Sigurðr) is a legendary hero of Norse mythology, as well as the central character in the Völsunga saga.
A prayer to the major god Odin is mentioned in chapter 2 of the Volsunga saga where King Rerir prays for a child. Odin (ˈoʊdɪn from Old Norse Óðinn) is considered the chief god in Norse paganism. The Völsunga saga is a Legendary saga, a late 13th century Icelandic prose rendition of the origin and decline of the Volsung clan In Norse Mythology, Rerir is the son of Sigi. Rerir killed his father's murderers His prayer is answered by Frigg, wife of Odin, who sends him an apple, which is dropped on his lap by Frigg's servant in the form of a crow while Rerir is sitting on a mound. Frigg (or Frigga) is a major goddess in Norse paganism, a subset of Germanic paganism. The apple is the pomaceous Fruit of the apple tree Species Malus domestica in the Rose family Rosaceae. A tumulus (plural tumuli) is a Mound of earth and stones raised over a grave or graves Rerir's wife eats the apple and is then pregnant with the hero Volsung. In Norse mythology, Vǫlsung was murdered by the Geatish king Siggeir and avenged by one of his sons Sigmund and his daughter Signy In stanza 9 of the poem Oddrúnargrátr, a prayer is made to "kind wights, Frigg and Freyja, and many gods", although since the poem is often considered one of the youngest poems in the Poetic Edda, the passage has been the matter of some debate. Oddrúnargrátr ( Oddrún's Lament) or Oddrúnarkviða ( Oddrún's poem) is an Eddic poem, found in the Codex Vættir or wights are nature spirits in the Norse religion. These nature spirits divide up into 'families' including the Álfar (elves Dvergar (dwarves Freyja (sometimes anglicized as Freya) is a major goddess in Norse Paganism, a subset of Germanic Paganism. 
The 11th century manuscript for the Anglo-Saxon charm Æcerbot presents what is thought to be an originally pagan prayer for the fertility of the speaker's crops and land, though Christianization is apparent throughout the charm. Æcerbot ("Field-Remedy" is an Anglo-Saxon charm recorded in the 11th century Anglo-Saxon paganism refers to the Migration Period religion practiced by the English in 5th to 7th century England.  The 8th century Wessobrunn Prayer has been proposed as a Christianized pagan prayer and compared to the pagan Völuspá and the Merseburg Incantations, the latter recorded in the 9th or 10th century but of much older traditional origins. The Wessobrunn Prayer (or Wessobrunner Gebet in German) sometimes called the Wessobrunn Creation Poem ( "Wessobrunner Schöpfungsgedicht" Völuspá ( Prophecy of the Völva) is the first and best known poem of the Poetic Edda. The Merseburg Incantations (die Merseburger Zaubersprüche are two medieval magic spells charms or Incantations written in Old High German. 
In the common Bible of the Abrahamic religions, various forms of prayer appear; the most common forms being petition, thanksgiving and worship. Etymology According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word bible is from Latin biblia, traced from the same word through Medieval Latin and Late Latin A petition is a request to change some thing most commonly made to a government official or public entity Thanksgiving, or Thanksgiving Day, is a traditional North American Holiday, which is a form of harvest festival. This article refers to the religious act For the album by Michael W The largest book in the Bible is the Book of Psalms, 150 religious songs which are also prayers. Psalms ( Hebrew: Tehilim, תהילים, or "praises" is a book of the Hebrew Bible (the Christian Old Testament) included Other well-known Biblical prayers include the Song of Moses (Exodus 15:1-28), the Song of Hannah (1 Samuel 2:1-8), and the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55). The Magnificat (also known as the Song of Mary) is a Canticle frequently sung (or spoken liturgically in Christian church services
Orthodox Jews pray three times a day, or more on special days, such as the Shabbat and Jewish holidays. Shabbat or Shabbos ( Hebrew: שַׁבָּת, shabbāt, shabbes, "rest/inactivity" is the Weekly Sabbath For the Gregorian dates of Jewish Holidays see Jewish holidays 2000-2050. The siddur is the prayerbook used by Jews the world over, containing a set order of daily prayers. A siddur ( Hebrew: סידור plural siddurim) is a Jewish Prayer book, containing a set order of daily prayers. Jewish prayer is usually described as having two aspects: kavanah (intention) and keva (the ritualistic, structured elements).
The most important Jewish prayers are the Shema Yisrael ("Hear O Israel") and the Amidah ("the standing prayer"). Shema Yisrael (or Sh'ma Yisroel or just Shema) ( Hebrew: שמע ישראל "Hear Israel" are the first two words of a section of The Amidah (Hebrew תפילת העמידה, Tefilat HaAmidah "The Standing Prayer " also called the Shmona Esre ( שמנה עשרה
Communal prayer is preferred over solitary prayer, and a quorum of 10 adult males (a minyan) is considered a prerequisite for several communal prayers. A minyan (מנין lit to count number; pl minyanim) in Judaism refers to the Quorum required for certain religious
Christian prayers are very varied. They can be completely spontaneous, or read entirely from a text, like the Anglican Book of Common Prayer. The Book of Common Prayer is the common title of a number of prayer books of the Church of England and used throughout the Anglican Communion. Probably the most common and universal prayer among Christians is the Lord's Prayer, which according to the gospel accounts is how Jesus taught his disciples to pray. The Lord's Prayer, also known as the Our Father or Pater noster, is probably the best-known Prayer in Christianity. Some Protestant denominations choose not to recite the Lord's Prayer or other rote prayers. Rote learning is a Learning technique which avoids understanding of a subject and instead focuses on memorization.
Christians pray to God (without specifying a person of the Trinity); or to the Father, the Son or the Holy Spirit (or some combination of them). Some Christians (e. g. , Catholics, Orthodox) will also ask the righteous in heaven and "in Christ," such as Virgin Mary or other saints to intercede by praying on their behalf (intercession of saints). Intercession of the saints is a Christian doctrine common to the vast majority of the world's Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Latin Rite Other formulaic closures include "through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever," and "in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. "
It is customary among Protestants to end prayers with "In Jesus' name, Amen" or "In the name of Christ, Amen" However, the most commonly used closure in Christianity is simply "Amen" (from a Hebrew adverb used as a statement of affirmation or agreement, usually translated as so be it). Jesus of Nazareth (7–2 BC / BCE —26–36 AD / CE) Christ is the English term for the Greek ( Khristós) meaning "the anointed " The word Amen (; آمين, ’Āmīn; "So be it truly" Its use in Judaism dates back to its earliest texts
There is also the form of prayer called hesychast which is a repetitious type of prayer for the purpose of meditation. Hesychasm ( Greek hesychasmos, from hesychia, "stillness rest quiet silence" is an Eremitic tradition of Prayer in In the Western or Latin Rite of Catholic Church, probably the most common is the Rosary; In the Eastern Church (the Eastern rites of the Catholic Church and Orthodox Church), the Jesus Prayer. The Latin Rite is one of the 23 Sui iuris Particular Churches within the Catholic Church. The Rosary (from Latin rosarium, meaning "rose garden" or "garland of roses" is a popular traditional Roman Catholic devotion. This article refers to Eastern Churches in full communion with the Holy See The Jesus Prayer, also called the Prayer of the Heart, is a short formulaic prayer often uttered repeatedly
Roman Catholic tradition includes specific prayers and devotions as acts of reparation which do not involve a petition for a living or deceased beneficiary, but aim to repair the sins of others, e. In the Roman Catholic tradition an Act of Reparation is a prayer or devotion with the intent to repair the " sins of others " e g. for the repair of the sin of blasphemy performed by others. Roman Catholic tradition include specific prayers and devotions as Acts of Reparation for insults and blasphemies against Jesus Christ 
Some modalities of alternative medicine employ prayer. The term alternative medicine, as used in the modern western world encompasses any healing practice "that does not fall within the realm of conventional Medicine. A survey released in May 2004 by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, part of the National Institutes of Health in the United States, found that in 2002, 43% of Americans pray for their own health, 24% pray for others' health, and 10% participate in a prayer group for their own health. "NIH" redirects here For other meanings of NIH see NIH (disambiguation.
Christian Science teaches that prayer is a spiritualization of thought or an understanding of God and of the nature of the underlying spiritual creation. Christian Science is believed by its supporters to be a system of spiritually scientific truths which are summed up in the two commandments having one God one Mind one Life Truth Adherents believe that this can result in healing, by bringing spiritual reality (the "Kingdom of Heaven" in Biblical terms) into clearer focus in the human scene. The world as it appears to the senses is regarded as a distorted version of the world of spiritual ideas. Prayer can heal the distortion. Christian Scientists believe that prayer does not change the spiritual creation but gives a clearer view of it, and the result appears in the human scene as healing: the human picture adjusts to coincide more nearly with the divine reality. Prayer works through love: the recognition of God's creation as spiritual, intact and inherently lovable. Love is any of a number of Emotions and experiences related to a sense of strong Affection. 
Muslims pray a brief ritualistic prayer called salat or salah in Arabic, facing the Kaaba in Mecca, five times a day. Ṣalāt ( Arabic: صلاة, pl ṣalawāt, Qur'anic Arabic: صلوة ṣalawah) (also munz in Pashto and A Muslim (مسلم pronounced Muslim, not Muzlim) is an adherent of the Religion Ṣalāt ( Arabic: صلاة, pl ṣalawāt, Qur'anic Arabic: صلوة ṣalawah) (also munz in Pashto and Arabic (ar الْعَرَبيّة (informally ar عَرَبيْ) in terms of the number of speakers is the largest living member of the Semitic language The Kaaba ( Arabic: ar الكعبة; 'kɑʕbɑ or 'kæʕbæ "Cube" is a Cuboidal building in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and is the Mecca ˈmɛkə also spelled Makkah ˈmækə (in full Makkah Al-Mukarramah (Arabic mækːæ(t ælmʊkarˑamæ مكّة المكرمة, literally Honored There is the "call for prayer" (adhan or azaan), where the muezzin calls for all the followers to stand together for the prayer . Adhan (also - Athaan IPA /ʔæðæːn/ ( أَذَان) is the Islamic call to Prayer, recited by the Muezzin. The muezzin (via Turkish müezzin from Arabic: مؤذن mu’aḏḏin) is a chosen person at the There are also many standard duas or supplications, also in Arabic, to be recited at various times, e. Du'a ( دُعَاء) is a Supplication in Islam, an Arabic term which means to 'call out' or to 'summon' Arabic (ar الْعَرَبيّة (informally ar عَرَبيْ) in terms of the number of speakers is the largest living member of the Semitic language g. for one's parents, after salah, before eating. Muslims may also say dua in their own words and languages for any issue they wish to communicate with God in the hope that God will answer their prayers.
Bahá'u'lláh, the Báb, and `Abdu'l-Bahá have revealed many prayers for general use, and some for specific occasions, including for unity, detachment, spiritual upliftment, and healing among others. Du'a ( دُعَاء) is a Supplication in Islam, an Arabic term which means to 'call out' or to 'summon' Prayer in the Bahá'í Faith is composed of reverent words which are addressed to God, and the act of prayer is one of the most important Bahá'í laws for individual Bahá'u'lláh ( ba-haa-ol-laa "Glory of God" ( November 12, 1817 – May 29, 1892) born Mírzá Ḥusayn-`Alí Nuri Siyyid `Alí Muḥammad ( ( October 20, 1819 – July 9, 1850) was the founder of Bábism, and one of three central figures of the ‘Abdu’l-Bahá ( ar عبد البهاء &lrm (23 May 1844 - 28 November 1921 born `Abbás Effendí, was the son of Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Bahá'ís are also required to recite each day one of three obligatory prayers revealed by Bahá'u'lláh. The Bahá'í Faith is a Religion founded by Bahá'u'lláh in nineteenth-century Persia, emphasizing the spiritual unity of all humankind Obligatory Bahá'í prayers are Prayers which are to be said once a day by Bahá'ís Bahá'u'lláh ( ba-haa-ol-laa "Glory of God" ( November 12, 1817 – May 29, 1892) born Mírzá Ḥusayn-`Alí Nuri The believers have been enjoined to face in the direction of the Qiblih when reciting their Obligatory Prayer. In the Bahá'í Faith the Qiblih ( is the location that Bahá'ís should face when saying their daily obligatory prayers, and is fixed at the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh The longest obligatory prayer may be recited at any time during the day; another, of medium length, is recited once in the morning, once at midday, and once in the evening; and the shortest can be recited anytime between noon and sunset. This is the text of the short prayer:
I bear witness, O my God, that Thou hast created me to know Thee and to worship Thee. I testify, at this moment, to my powerlessness and to Thy might, to my poverty and to Thy wealth. There is none other God but Thee, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting.
Bahá'ís also read from and meditate on the scriptures every morning and evening. 
In contrast with Western religion, Eastern religion for the most part discards worship and places devotional emphasis on the practice of meditation alongside scriptural study. Western religion includes Abrahamic religions that have their roots in the ancient Middle-East including Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and its Eastern religion is a group of Religions originating in India, China, Japan and Southeast Asia. This article refers to the religious act For the album by Michael W Meditation is a mental discipline by which one attempts to get beyond the conditioned "thinking" mind into a deeper state of relaxation or awareness Consequently, prayer is seen as a form of meditation or an adjunct practice to meditation.
In certain Buddhist sects, prayer accompanies meditation. Buddhism for the most part sees prayer as a secondary, supportive practice to meditation and scriptural study. Buddhism is a family of beliefs and practices Meditation is a mental discipline by which one attempts to get beyond the conditioned "thinking" mind into a deeper state of relaxation or awareness Gautama Buddha claimed that human beings possess the capacity and potential to be liberated, or enlightened, through contemplation, leading to insight. Siddhārtha Gautama ( Sanskrit; Pali: Siddhattha Gotama) was a spiritual Teacher from Ancient India and the founder The word Contemplation comes from the Latin root templum (from Greek temnein to cut or divide and means to separate something from its environment and to enclose it in a sector Prayer is seen mainly as a powerful psycho-physical practice that can enhance meditation.
But beyond all these practices the Buddha emphasized the primacy of individual practice and experience. He said that supplication to gods or deities was not necessary. Nevertheless, today many lay people in East Asian countries pray to the Buddha in ways that resemble Western prayer - asking for intervention and offering devotion.
Hinduism has incorporated many kinds of prayer (Sanskrit: prārthanā), from fire-based rituals to philosophical musings. Prayer or worship is considered to be an integral part of the Hindu way of living Hinduism is a religious tradition that originated in the Indian subcontinent. In Hinduism, Yajna ( Devanagari यज्ञ IAST yajña; also anglicized as Yagna, Yagya or Yadnya While chanting involves 'by dictum' recitation of timeless verses or verses with timings and notations, dhyanam involves deep meditation (however short or long) on the preferred deity/God. Again the object to which prayers are offered could be a persons referred as devtas, trinity or incarnation of either devtas or trinity or simply plain formless meditation as practiced by the ancient sages. All of these are directed to fulfilling personal needs or deep spiritual enlightenment. Ritual invocation was part and parcel of the Vedic religion and as such permeated their sacred texts. An invocation (from the Latin verb invocare "to call on invoke" may take the form of Supplication or Prayer This article discusses the historical religious practices in the Vedic time period see Hinduism and Indian religions for details Indeed, the highest sacred texts of the Hindus, the Vedas, are a large collection of mantras and prayer rituals. "Veda" redirects here For other uses see Veda (disambiguation. A mantra ( Devanāgarī मन्त्र (or mantram is a religious or mystical syllable or poem typically from the Sanskrit language Classical Hinduism came to focus on extolling a single supreme force, Brahman, that is made manifest in several lower forms as the familiar gods of the Hindu pantheon. Brahman ( bráhman-, Nominative bráhma sa ब्रह्म is a concept of Hinduism. Within Hinduism a large number of personalities or 'forms' are worshiped as Murtis. Hindus in India have numerous devotional movements. India, officially the Republic of India (भारत गणराज्य inc-Latn Bhārat Gaṇarājya; see also other Indian languages) is a country Hindus may pray to the highest absolute God Brahman, or more commonly to Its three manifestations namely creator god called Brahma, preserver god called Vishnu and destroyer god (so that the creation cycle can start afresh) Shiva, and at the next level to Vishnu's avatars (earthly appearances) Rama and Krishna or to many other male or female deities. Brahma is the Hindu god ( deva) of creation and one of the Trimurti, the others being Vishnu and Shiva. For other meanings see Vishnu (disambiguation. Vishnu ( IAST viṣṇu Devanagari विष्णु (honorific Shiva:(pronunciation; Sanskrit: शिव Śiva, lit "Auspicious one" One of the Trimurtis Shiva is the supreme God in the Shaiva Rama ( IAST: rāma Devanāgarī: राम Khmer: Phreah Ream Thai: Phra Ram Lao: Phra Lam Tagalog: Krishna (कृष्ण in Devanagari kṛṣṇa in IAST, ˈkr̩ʂɳə in classical Sanskrit is a deity worshiped across many traditions of Hinduism Typically, Hindus pray with their hands (the palms) joined together. The hand gesture is similar to the popular Indian greeting namaste. Namasté, Namaskar or Namaskaram (Sanskrit नमस्ते from internal Sandhi between namaḥ and te
Although Jains believe that no spirit or divine being can assist them on their path, they do hold some influence, and on special occasions, Jains will pray for right knowledge to the twenty-four Tirthankaras (saintly teachers) or sometimes to Hindu deities such as Ganesha. Jainism, traditionally known as Jain Dharma / Shraman Dharma (जैन धर्म is an ancient religion of India. Ganesha ( Sanskrit: sa गणेश Gaṇeśa) also spelled Ganesa or Ganesh and also known as Ganapati, Vinayaka, and Pillaiyar
The practices involved in Shinto prayer are heavily influenced by Buddhism; Japanese Buddhism has also been strongly influenced by Shinto in turn. is the native religion of Japan and was once its State religion. are small wooden Plaques on which Shinto worshipers write their prayers or wishes is the native religion of Japan and was once its State religion. The most common and basic form of devotion involves throwing a coin, or several, into a collection box, ringing a bell, clapping one's hands, and contemplating one's wish or prayer silently. The bell and hand clapping are meant to wake up or attract the attention of the kami of the shrine, so that one's prayer may be heard.
Shinto prayers quite frequently consist of wishes or favors asked of the kami, rather than lengthy praises or devotions. Unlike in certain other faiths, it is not considered irregular or inappropriate to ask favors of the kami in this way, and indeed many shrines are associated with particular favors, such as success on exams.
In addition, one may write one's wish on a small wooden tablet, called an ema, and leave it hanging at the shrine, where the kami can read it. are small wooden Plaques on which Shinto worshipers write their prayers or wishes If the wish is granted, one may return to the shrine to leave another ema as an act of thanksgiving.
Although prayer in its literal sense is not used in animism, communication with the spirit world is vital to the animist way of life. Animism (from Latin anima ( Soul, Life) commonly refers to a religious belief that Souls or Spirits exist in Animals This is usually accomplished through a shaman who, through a trance, gains access to the spirit world and then shows the spirits' thoughts to the people. Other ways to receive messages from the spirits include using astrology or contemplating fortune tellers and healers. Astrology (from Greek grc ἄστρον astron, "constellation star" and grc -λογία -logia) is a group of Systems Fortune-telling is the practice of predicting the future usually of an individual through mystical or supernatural means and often for commercial gain 
Adherents to forms of modern Neopaganism pray to various gods. Neopaganism or Neo-Paganism is an Umbrella term used to identify a wide variety of modern religious movements particularly those influenced by historical The most commonly worshiped and prayed to gods are those of Pre-Christian Europe, such as Celtic, Norse or Graeco-Roman gods. Celtic mythology is the Mythology of Celtic polytheism, apparently the Religion of the Iron Age Celts Like other Iron Age Norse mythology comprises the indigenous pre-Christian religion, beliefs and Legends of the Scandinavian peoples including those who settled on Iceland Greek mythology is the body of stories belonging to the ancient Greeks concerning their gods and Heroes the nature of the world and the origins and significance Prayer can vary from sect to sect, and with some (such as Wicca) prayer may also be associated with ritual magick. Magick, in the broadest sense is any act designed to cause intentional change
From Biblical times to today, the most common form of prayer is to directly appeal to God to grant one's requests. This in many ways is the simplest form of prayer. Some have termed this the social approach to prayer.  In this view, a person directly enters into God's rest, and asks for their needs to be fulfilled. God listens to the prayer, and may or may not choose to answer in the way one asks of Him. This is the primary approach to prayer found in the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, most of the Church writings, and in rabbinic literature such as the Talmud.
In this view, prayer is not a conversation. Rather, it is meant to inculcate certain attitudes in the one who prays, but not to influence. Among Jews, this has been the approach of Rabbenu Bachya, Rabbi Yehuda Halevi, Joseph Albo, Samson Raphael Hirsch, and Joseph B. Soloveitchik. Yehuda Halevi, in full Yehuda ben Shemuel Ha-Levi, also Judah Halevi, or Judah ben Samuel Halevi ( Hebrew: יהודה הלוי) (c Joseph Albo ( Hebrew: יוסף אלבו) (c 1380–1444 was a Jewish philosopher and Rabbi who lived in Spain during the Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch ( June 20, 1808 – December 31, 1888) was the intellectual founder of the Torah im Derech Eretz Joseph Ber (Yosef Dov Yoshe Ber Soloveitchik (יוסף דב הלוי סולובייצ'יק was an American Orthodox Rabbi, Talmudist and modern This view is expressed by Rabbi Nosson Scherman in the overview to the Artscroll Siddur (p. Rabbi Nosson Scherman is an American Haredi Orthodox Rabbi best known as the general editor for ArtScroll/Mesorah Publications. ArtScroll is an Imprint of translations books and commentaries from an Orthodox Jewish perspective published by Mesorah Publications Ltd XIII); note that Scherman goes on to also affirm the Kabbalistic view (see below).
Adherents of Kabbalah (esoteric Jewish mysticism) base their prayers on those found in the siddur, the traditional Jewish prayer text. Kabbalah (קַבָּלָה lit "receiving" is a discipline and school of thought discussing the mystical aspect of Judaism. A siddur ( Hebrew: סידור plural siddurim) is a Jewish Prayer book, containing a set order of daily prayers. However, they add to these prayers a number of kavanot, mystical statements of intention. Adherents of kabbalah reject both the rationalist and social approach to prayer. Instead, their approach ascribes a higher meaning to the act of prayer; Prayer affects the very fabric of reality itself, restructuring and repairing the universe in a real fashion. For these Kabbalists, every prayer, every word of every prayer, and indeed, even every letter of every word of every prayer, has a precise meaning and a precise effect.
In Kabbalah and related mystical belief systems, adherents claim intimate knowledge about the way in which the divine relates to us and the physical universe in which we live. For people with this view, prayers can literally affect the mystical forces of the universe and repair the fabric of creation.
Among Jews, this approach has been taken by the Chassidei Ashkenaz (German pietists of the Middle-Ages), the Arizal's Kabbalist tradition, Ramchal, most of Hassidism, the Vilna Gaon and Jacob Emden. The Chassidei Ashkenaz (literally "the Pious of Germany " was a Jewish movement in the 12th century and 13th century founded by Rabbi Judah the Pious ( Rabbi Isaac Luria (1534 – July 25 1572) was a Jewish mystic in Safed. Moshe Chaim Luzzatto ( Hebrew: משה חיים לוצאטו, also Moses Chaim, Moses Hayyim, also Luzzato) (1707-1746 (26 Iyar Hasidic Judaism (also Chasidic, etc from the Hebrew: he '''''חסידות''''', Chassidus, meaning "piety" from the Hebrew Eliyahu ben Shlomo Zalman, known as the Vilna Gaon or Elijah of Vilna and simply by his Hebrew Acronym Gra (" G aon Jacob Emden ( (the Yabets) was a Jewish Rabbi and notable Talmudist and prominent opponent of the Shabbethaians.
In this view, ultimate goal of prayer is to help train a person to focus on divinity through philosophy and intellectual contemplation. This approach was taken by the Jewish scholar and philosopher Maimonides and the other medieval rationalists; it became popular in Jewish, Christian and Islamic intellectual circles, but never became the most popular understanding of prayer among the laity in any of these faiths. Moses Maimonides ( March 30 1135 – December 13 1204) also known as the Rambam, was a Rabbi, Physician, and In all three of these faiths today, a significant minority of people still hold to this approach.
In this approach, the purpose of prayer is to enable the person praying to gain a direct experience of the recipient of the prayer (or as close to direct as a specific theology permits). This approach is very significant in Christianity and widespread in Judaism (although less popular theologically). In Eastern Orthodoxy, this approach is known as hesychasm. The Eastern Orthodox Church is the second largest single Christian Communion in the world Hesychasm ( Greek hesychasmos, from hesychia, "stillness rest quiet silence" is an Eremitic tradition of Prayer in It is also widespread in Sufi Islam, and in some forms of mysticism. Sufism ( تصوّف - taṣawwuf, Persian: صوفیگری sufigari, Turkish: tasavvuf, Urdu: تصوف Mysticism (from the Greek grc μυστικός mystikos, an initiate of a Mystery religion) is the pursuit of communion with identity It has some similarities with the rationalist approach, since it can also involve contemplation, although the contemplation is not generally viewed as being as rational or intellectual. The word Contemplation comes from the Latin root templum (from Greek temnein to cut or divide and means to separate something from its environment and to enclose it in a sector It also has some similarities with the Kabbalistic view, but it lacks the Kabbalistic emphasis on the importance of individual words and letters.
In 1872, Francis Galton conducted a famous statistical experiment to determine whether or not prayer had a physical effect on the external environment. Measuring the efficacy of Prayer has been attempted in various studies since Francis Galton first addressed the subject (partly as satire in 1872 Sir Francis Galton FRS ( 16 February 1822 &ndash 17 January 1911) half-cousin of Charles Darwin, was an Statistics is a mathematical science pertaining to the collection analysis interpretation or explanation and presentation of Data. Galton hypothesized that if prayer was effective, members of the British Royal family would live longer, given that thousands prayed for their wellbeing every Sunday. He therefore compared longevity in the British Royal family with that of the general population, and found no difference.  While the experiment was probably intended to satirize, and suffered from a number of confounders, it set the precedent for a number of different studies, the results of which are contradictory. In statistics a confounding variable (also confounding factor, lurking variable, a confound, or confounder) is an Extraneous variable
Two studies claimed that patients who are being prayed for recover more quickly or more frequently although critics have claimed that the methodology of such studies are flawed, and the perceived effect disappears when controls are tightened.  One such study, with a double-blind design and about 500 subjects per group, suggested that intercessory prayer by born again Christians had a statistically significant positive effect on a coronary care unit population. The blind method is a part of the Scientific method, used to prevent research outcomes from being influenced by either the Placebo effect or the Observer  Critics contend that there were severe methodological problems with this study.  Another such study was reported by Harris et al.  Critics also claim Byrd's 1988 study was not fully double-blinded, and that in the Harris study, patients actually had a longer hospital stay in the prayer group, if one discounts the patients in both groups who left before prayers began, although the Harris study did demonstrate the prayed for patients on average received lower course scores (indicating better recovery).
One of the largest randomized, blind clinical trials was a remote retroactive intercessory prayer study conducted in Israel by Leibovici. This study used 3393 patient records from 1990-96, and blindly assigned some of these to an intercessory prayer group. The prayer group had shorter hospital stays and duration of fever. 
Several studies of prayer effectiveness have yielded null results.  A 2001 double-blind study of the Mayo Clinic found no significant difference in the recovery rates between people who were (unbeknownst to them) assigned to a group that prayed for them and those who were not. Mayo Clinic is a Non-profit medical practice Its headquarters the Mayo Medical School and its research facilities are in Rochester Minnesota in  Similarly, the MANTRA study conducted by Duke University found no differences in outcome of cardiac procedures as a result of prayer.  In another similar study published in the American Heart Journal in 2006, Christian intercessory prayer when reading a scripted prayer was found to have no effect on the recovery of heart surgery patients; however, the study found patients who had knowledge of receiving prayer had slightly higher instances of complications than those who did not know if they were being prayed for or those who did not receive prayer. 
Many believe that prayer can aid in recovery, not due to divine influence but due to psychological and physical benefits. It has also been suggested that if a person knows that he or she is being prayed for it can be uplifting and increase morale, thus aiding recovery. (See Subject-expectancy effect. The Subject-expectancy effect, is a form of reactivity that occurs in Scientific experiment or Medical treatment when a Research subject ) Many studies have suggested that prayer can reduce physical stress, regardless of the god or gods a person prays to, and this may be true for many worldly reasons. According to a study by Centra State Hospital, "the psychological benefits of prayer may help reduce stress and anxiety, promote a more positive outlook, and strengthen the will to live. " Other practices such as Yoga, Tai Chi, and Meditation may also have a positive impact on physical and psychological health. Yoga ( Sanskrit: योग, IAST: yóga, joːgə refers to traditional physical and mental disciplines originating in India, to the Tai chi chuan (is an internal Chinese martial art often practiced for Health reasons Meditation is a mental discipline by which one attempts to get beyond the conditioned "thinking" mind into a deeper state of relaxation or awareness
Others feel that the concept of conducting prayer experiments reflects a misunderstanding of the purpose of prayer. The previously mentioned 2006 study published in the American Heart Journal indicated that some of the intercessors who took part in it complained about the scripted nature of the prayers that were imposed to them, saying that this is not the way they usually conduct prayer:
Prior to the start of this study, intercessors reported that they usually receive information about the patient’s age, gender and progress reports on their medical condition; converse with family members or the patient (not by fax from a third party); use individualized prayers of their own choosing; and pray for a variable time period based on patient or family request.