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.

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 ...

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.

While shepherds watched their flocks on 'Ilkely Moor'

'While shepherds watched' was the first carol to cross over to the Church of England from the secular, folk tradition and carol singers might be surprised to hear that it used to be commonly sung to the tune 'Cranbrook', ...

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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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