The power of prayer?

Health and religion have always been intertwined, most obviously through prayer on behalf of the sick. Does intercessory prayer for sick people actually help heal them? For thousands of years some people have believed so. ...

Teen devises prayer app for iPhone

For eons, people have reached out to the Almighty with prayers and supplications. Soon they might be able to use their iPhones.

Text of Jewish exorcism discovered

(PhysOrg.com) -- A rare - and possibly unique - text describing a Jewish exorcism has been discovered by a scholar of medieval Jewish studies.

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 ...

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.

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.

page 1 from 2

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.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA