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What is Prayer?

Prayer is an invocation or act that seeks to establish a relationship with an object of worship through deliberate communication. In its most limited sense, the term refers to an act of supplication or intercession directed at a deity or a deified ancestor. In general, prayer can also be used to express gratitude or praise, and it is closely associated with more abstract forms of meditation as well as charms or spells in comparative religion. Prayer can take many forms: it can be performed alone or in groups, it can be part of a set liturgy or ritual, and it can be performed as part of a set liturgy or ritual. Prayer can take the form of a hymn, incantation, formal creedal statement, or the praying person’s spontaneous utterance. The act of praying has been documented in written sources as far back as 5000 years. Most major religions today include prayer in some form or another; some ritualize the act, requiring a strict sequence of actions or limiting who is permitted to pray, while others teach that prayer can be practised spontaneously by anyone at any time. Scientific research on the use of prayer has primarily focused on its effect on the healing of sick or injured people. Numerous studies have been conducted to assess the efficacy of prayer in faith healing, with contradictory results.

Michael Angel