Parents, listen up: Children keep still during prayer

Preschool-aged children, and their parents, are more likely to view the physical actions of prayer (i.e., closing eyes, folding hands) to help with reflection and communicating with God. This is according to a new study by ...

Indian festivals stream to mobile web worshippers

While devout Hindus wait for up to 90 hours to see their favourite deity at Ganesh Chaturthi, one of India's major festivals, others are opting to dodge the queues this year and say a virtual prayer instead.

Study finds increase in multi-faith space in UK

A study by the University of Liverpool has found an increasing number of shared spaces for prayer, reflection and meditation, despite the declining popularity of established religion.

Cairo's Muslim faithful called to pray on one wavelength

Egypt on Thursday began unifying calls to prayer that ring out five times a day from thousands of minarets across the capital, but the move has been criticised by the men who make the call or azzan.

Prayer on the hospital floor

What happens when the families of sick and dying hospitalized children ask their physicians to pray with them, or for them? How do pediatricians respond to such personal requests? While increasing numbers of physicians say ...

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Prayer

Prayer is a form of religious practice that seeks to activate a volitional rapport to a deity through deliberate practice. Prayer 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.

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. The efficacy of petition in prayer for physical healing to a deity has been evaluated in numerous studies, with contradictory results. There has been some criticism of the way the studies were conducted.

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