Defining prayer


When people think about prayer, they likely do in such a manner that involves sitting with one”s hand folded, looking up, and speaking to God. At least this is the case where I grew up in the United States, in a mostly┬áCatholic area of the country. But as I began to travel the world and open my eyes to other religions, I realized that prayer is not only much more complicated than I could ever imagine, but is an important part of every religion.

Take for instance Muslim prayer. Muslims pray multiple times a day in mandatory fashion, and it involves laying out linens and kneeling. As a Christian, I prayed while at church or when I found it necessary, but Muslim prayer is done every day multiple times. Conversely, Buddhists don’t really pray, but rather meditate and self reflect.

Understanding prayer

Prayer acts as a way to communicate with higher powers through reflection. By humbling ourselves and appealing to whichever God we believe in, we open our lives to their will and doing. It is this aspect of prayer that makes us feel closer to God and that our lives are not simply in our own hands.

Virtually every organized religion has some form of prayer, and even the word itself can mean different things. In order to fully understand prayer, we must understand why we do it and what we hope to gain from it. By understating that all religions are different, we start to get an idea of how prayer is the same, yet different for everyone.

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