The Info List - Prayer

(from the Latin
precari "to ask earnestly, beg, entreat")[2] is an invocation or act that seeks to activate a rapport with an object of worship through deliberate communication. Prayer
can be a form of religious practice, may be either individual or communal and take place in public or in private. It may involve the use of words, song or complete silence. When language is used, prayer may take the form of a hymn, incantation, formal creedal statement, or a spontaneous utterance in the praying person. There are different forms of prayer such as petitionary prayer, prayers of supplication, thanksgiving, and praise. Prayer
may be directed towards a deity, spirit, deceased person, or lofty idea, for the purpose of worshipping, requesting guidance, requesting assistance, confessing transgressions (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 (called intercession). Some anthropologists believe that the earliest intelligent modern humans practiced a form of prayer. Today, most major religions involve prayer in one way or another; some ritualize the act, 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. Meta-studies of the studies in this field have been performed showing evidence only for no effect or a potentially small effect. For instance, a 2006 meta analysis on 14 studies concluded that there is "no discernable effect" while a 2007 systemic review of studies on intercessory prayer reported inconclusive results, noting that 7 of 17 studies had "small, but significant, effect sizes" but the review noted that the most methodologically rigorous studies failed to produce significant findings.[3][4] Some studies have indicated increased medical complications in groups receiving prayer over those without.[5][6] The efficacy of petition in prayer for physical healing to a deity has been evaluated in numerous other studies, with contradictory results.[7][8][9][10] There has been some criticism of the way the studies were conducted.[6][11]


1 Act of prayer 2 Approaches to prayer

2.1 Direct petitions to God 2.2 Educational approach 2.3 Rationalist approach 2.4 Experiential approach

2.4.1 Origins of an idea of prayer as "experiential" 2.4.2 General criticism arising from the concept of "experiential prayer"

3 Abrahamic religions

3.1 Bible 3.2 Judaism

3.2.1 Rationalist approach to prayer 3.2.2 Educational approach to prayer 3.2.3 Kabbalistic approach to prayer

3.3 Christianity

3.3.1 Pentecostalism 3.3.2 Christian Science 3.3.3 Prevalence of prayer for health

3.4 Islam 3.5 Bahá'í

4 Animism

4.1 Americas 4.2 Australia

5 Eastern religions

5.1 Buddhism 5.2 Hinduism 5.3 Jainism 5.4 Shinto 5.5 Sikhism 5.6 Taoism

6 Other religions

6.1 Wicca 6.2 Raëlism 6.3 Eckankar

7 Pre-Christian Europe

7.1 Etruscan, Greek, and Roman paganism 7.2 Germanic paganism

8 Theurgy
and Western esotericism

8.1 Thelema

9 Prayer
groups 10 Prayer
requests 11 Prayer

11.1 Efficacy of prayer
Efficacy of prayer

12 Skepticism 13 Non-religious uses of prayer 14 See also 15 Notes 16 References and footnotes 17 Further reading 18 External links

Act of prayer[edit]

Play media

Video demonstration of prayer

Christians in prayer

Muslim men prostrating during prayer in a mosque

The act of prayer is attested in written sources as early as 5000 years ago.[12] Some anthropologists, such as Sir Edward Burnett Tylor and Sir James George Frazer, believed that the earliest intelligent modern humans practiced something that we would recognize today as prayer.[13] Various spiritual traditions offer a wide variety of devotional acts. There are morning and evening prayers, graces said over meals, and reverent physical gestures. Some Christians bow their heads and fold their hands. Some Native Americans regard dancing as a form of prayer.[14] Some Sufis whirl.[15] Hindus chant mantras.[16] Jewish prayer may involve swaying back and forth and bowing.[17] Muslims practice salat (kneeling and prostration) in their prayers. Quakers keep silent.[18] Some pray according to standardized rituals and liturgies, while others prefer extemporaneous prayers. Still others combine the two. Friedrich Heiler is often cited in Christian circles for his systematic Typology of Prayer
which lists six types of prayer: primitive, ritual, Greek cultural, philosophical, mystical, and prophetic.[19] Some forms of prayer require a prior ritualistic form of cleansing or purification such as in ghusl and wudhu.[20] Prayer
may be done privately and individually, or it may be done corporately in the presence of fellow believers. Prayer
can be incorporated into a daily "thought life", in which one is in constant communication with a god. Some people pray throughout all that is happening during the day and seek guidance as the day progresses. This is actually regarded as a requirement in several Christian denominations,[21] although enforcement is not possible nor desirable. There can be many different answers to prayer, just as there are many ways to interpret an answer to a question, if there in fact comes an answer.[21] Some may experience audible, physical, or mental epiphanies. If indeed an answer comes, the time and place it comes is considered random. Some outward acts that sometimes accompany prayer are: anointing with oil;[22] ringing a bell;[23] burning incense or paper;[24] lighting a candle or candles; See, for example, facing a specific direction (i.e. towards Mecca[25] or the East); making the sign of the cross. One less noticeable act related to prayer is fasting. A variety of body postures may be assumed, often with specific meaning (mainly respect or adoration) associated with them: standing; sitting; kneeling; prostrate on the floor; eyes opened; eyes closed; hands folded or clasped; hands upraised; holding hands with others; a laying on of hands and others. Prayers may be recited from memory, read from a book of prayers, or composed spontaneously as they are prayed. They may be said, chanted, or sung. They may be with musical accompaniment or not. There may be a time of outward silence while prayers are offered mentally. Often, there are prayers to fit specific occasions, such as the blessing of a meal, the birth or death of a loved one, other significant events in the life of a believer, or days of the year that have special religious significance. Details corresponding to specific traditions are outlined below. Approaches to prayer[edit] Direct petitions to God[edit] From Biblical times to today, the most common form of prayer is to directly appeal to God
to grant one's requests. This in many ways is the simplest form of prayer. Some have termed this the social approach to prayer.[26] In this view, a person directly enters into God's rest, and asks for their needs to be fulfilled. God
listens to the prayer, and may so or not choose to answer in the way one asks of him. This is the primary approach to prayer found in the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, most of the Church writings, and in rabbinic literature such as the Talmud. Educational approach[edit] In this view, prayer is not a conversation. Rather, it is meant to inculcate certain attitudes in the one who prays, but not to influence. Among Jews, this has been the approach of Rabbenu Bachya, Rabbi
Yehuda Halevi, Joseph Albo, Samson Raphael Hirsch, and Joseph B. Soloveitchik. This view is expressed by Rabbi
Nosson Scherman in the overview to the Artscroll
(p. XIII). Among Christian theologians, E.M. Bounds stated the educational purpose of prayer in every chapter of his book, The Necessity of Prayer. Prayer
books such as the Book of Common Prayer
Book of Common Prayer
are both a result of this approach and an exhortation to keep it.[27] Rationalist approach[edit]

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In this view, the ultimate goal of prayer is to help train a person to focus on divinity through philosophy and intellectual contemplation (meditation). This approach was taken by the Jewish scholar and philosopher Maimonides
[28] and the other medieval rationalists;[29] it became popular in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic intellectual circles, but never became the most popular understanding of prayer among the laity in any of these faiths. In all three of these faiths today, a significant minority of people still hold to this approach. Experiential approach[edit]

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In this approach, the purpose of prayer is to enable the person praying to gain a direct experience of the recipient of the prayer (or as close to direct as a specific theology permits). This approach is very significant in Christianity
and widespread in Judaism
(although less popular theologically). In Eastern Orthodoxy, this approach is known as hesychasm. It is also widespread in Sufi
Islam, and in some forms of mysticism. It has some similarities with the rationalist approach, since it can also involve contemplation, although the contemplation is not generally viewed as being as rational or intellectual. Christian and Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic
traditions also include an experiential approach to prayer within the practice of Lectio Divina, historically a Benedictine
practice in which scripture is read aloud; actively meditated upon using the intellect (but not analysis) possibly using the mind to place the listener within a relationship or dialogue with the text that was read; a prayer spoken; and finally concludes with contemplation, a more passive experiential approach than the previous meditation, which is characterized by the Catechism of the Catholic Church
Catholic Church
as an experience of consciously being attentive, and having a silent love toward God, which the individual experiences without demanding to receive an experience.[30] The experience of God
within Christian mysticism has been contrasted with the concept of experiential religion or mystical experience because of a long history or authors living and writing about experience with the divine in a manner that identifies God
as unknowable and ineffable, the language of such ideas could be characterized paradoxically as "experiential", as well as without the phenomena of experience.[31] Origins of an idea of prayer as "experiential"[edit] The notion of "religious experience" can be traced back to William James, who used a term called "religious experience" in his book, The Varieties of Religious
Experience.[32][citation not found] The origins of the use of this term can be dated further back. In the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, several historical figures put forth very influential views that religion and its beliefs can be grounded in experience itself. While Kant held that moral experience justified religious beliefs, John Wesley
John Wesley
in addition to stressing individual moral exertion thought that the religious experiences in the Methodist movement
Methodist movement
(paralleling the Romantic Movement) were foundational to religious commitment as a way of life.[33] Wayne Proudfoot traces the roots of the notion of "religious experience" to the German theologian Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768–1834), who argued that religion is based on a feeling of the infinite. The notion of "religious experience" was used by Schleiermacher and Albert Ritschl to defend religion against the growing scientific and secular critique, and defend the view that human (moral and religious) experience justifies religious beliefs. Such religious empiricism would be later seen as highly problematic and was — during the period in-between world wars — famously rejected by Karl Barth.[34] In the 20th century, religious as well as moral experience as justification for religious beliefs still holds sway. Some influential modern scholars holding this liberal theological view are Charles Raven and the Oxford physicist/theologian Charles Coulson.[35] The notion of "religious experience" was adopted by many scholars of religion, of which William James
William James
was the most influential.[36][citation not found][note 1] General criticism arising from the concept of "experiential prayer"[edit] The notion of "experience" has been criticised.[41][citation not found][42][citation not found][43][citation not found] Robert Sharf points out that "experience" is a typical Western term, which has found its way into Asian religiosity via western influences.[41][citation not found][note 2] The notion of "experience" introduces a false notion of duality between "experiencer" and "experienced", whereas the essence of kensho is the realisation of the "non-duality" of observer and observed.[45][citation not found][46][citation not found] "Pure experience" does not exist; all experience is mediated by intellectual and cognitive activity.[47][citation not found][48][citation not found] The specific teachings and practices of a specific tradition may even determine what "experience" someone has, which means that this "experience" is not the proof of the teaching, but a result of the teaching.[49][citation not found] A pure consciousness without concepts, reached by "cleaning the doors of perception",[note 3] would be an overwhelming chaos of sensory input without coherence.[51][citation not found] Abrahamic religions[edit] Bible[edit] See also: Prayer in the Hebrew Bible
Prayer in the Hebrew Bible
and Prayer
in the New Testament

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one.

—known as "The Lord's Prayer"[52]

In the common Bible
of the Abrahamic religions, various forms of prayer appear; the most common forms being petition, thanksgiving, and worship. The longest book in the Bible
is the Book of Psalms, 150 religious songs which are often regarded as prayers. Other well-known Biblical prayers include the Song of Moses (Exodus 15:1–18), the Song of Hannah
Song of Hannah
(1 Samuel 2:1–10), and the Magnificat
(Luke 1:46–55). The most recognized prayers in the Christian Bible
are the Lord's Prayer
Lord's Prayer
(Matthew 6:9–13; Luke 11:2–4) and the Grace (2 Cor 13:14). Whilst the Hail Mary
Hail Mary
(Luke 1:28; Luke 1:42) is predominantly Roman Catholic. Judaism[edit] Main article: Jewish prayer

Captain Samuel Cass, a rabbi, conducting the first prayer service celebrated on German territory by Jewish personnel of the First Canadian Army near Cleve, Germany, 18 March 1945

Observant Jews pray three times a day, Shacharit, Mincha, and Ma'ariv with lengthier prayers on special days, such as the Shabbat
and Jewish holidays including Musaf and the reading of the Torah. The siddur is the prayerbook used by Jews all over the world, containing a set order of daily prayers. Jewish prayer
Jewish prayer
is usually described as having two aspects: kavanah (intention) and keva (the ritualistic, structured elements). The most important Jewish prayers are the Shema Yisrael
Shema Yisrael
("Hear O Israel") and the Amidah
("the standing prayer"). Communal prayer is preferred over solitary prayer, and a quorum of 10 adult males (a minyan) is considered by Orthodox Judaism
Orthodox Judaism
a prerequisite for several communal prayers.

Orthodox Jewish
Orthodox Jewish
men praying in Jerusalem's Western Wall

There are also many other ritualistic prayers a Jew performs during their day, such as washing before eating bread, washing after one wakes up in the morning, and doing grace after meals. Rationalist approach to prayer[edit] In this view, the ultimate goal of prayer is to help train a person to focus on divinity through philosophy and intellectual contemplation. This approach was taken by Maimonides
and the other medieval rationalists. One example of this approach to prayer is noted by Rabbi Steven Weil, who was appointed the Orthodox Union's Executive-Vice President in 2009. He notes that the word "prayer" is a derivative of the Latin
"precari", which means "to beg". The Hebrew equivalent "tefilah", however, along with its root "pelel" or its reflexive "l’hitpallel", means the act of self-analysis or self-evaluation.[53] This approach is sometimes described as the person praying having a dialogue or conversation with God.[54] Educational approach to prayer[edit] In this view, prayer is not a conversation. Rather, it is meant to inculcate certain attitudes in the one who prays, but not to influence. This has been the approach of Rabbenu Bachya, Yehuda Halevy, Joseph Albo, Samson Raphael Hirsch, and Joseph Dov Soloveitchik. This view is expressed by Rabbi
Nosson Scherman in the overview to the Artscroll
(p. XIII); note that Scherman goes on to also affirm the Kabbalistic view (see below). Kabbalistic approach to prayer[edit] Kabbalah
(Jewish mysticism) uses a series of kavanot, directions of intent, to specify the path the prayer ascends in the dialog with God, to increase its chances of being answered favorably. Kabbalists ascribe a higher meaning to the purpose of prayer, which is no less than affecting the very fabric of reality itself, restructuring and repairing the universe in a real fashion. In this view, every word of every prayer, and indeed, even every letter of every word, has a precise meaning and a precise effect. Prayers thus literally affect the mystical forces of the universe, and repair the fabric of creation.[55] Among Jews, this approach has been taken by the Chassidei Ashkenaz (German pietists of the Middle-Ages), the Arizal's Kabbalist tradition, Ramchal, most of Hassidism, the Vilna Gaon, and Jacob Emden. Christianity[edit] Main articles: Prayer in Christianity
Prayer in Christianity
and Christian worship

praying in Gethsemane. Depicted by Heinrich Hofmann

Christian prayers are quite varied. They can be completely spontaneous, or read entirely from a text, like the Anglican Book of Common Prayer. The most common prayer among Christians is the Lord's Prayer, which according to the gospel accounts (e.g. Matthew 6:9–13) is how Jesus
taught his disciples to pray.[56] The Lord's Prayer
The Lord's Prayer
is a model for prayers of adoration, confession and petition in Christianity.[56] Christians generally pray to God
or to the Father. Some Christians (e.g., Catholics, Orthodox) will also ask the righteous in heaven and "in Christ," such as Virgin Mary
Virgin Mary
or other saints to intercede by praying on their behalf (intercession of saints). Formulaic closures include "through our Lord Jesus
Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, through all the ages of ages," and "in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit." It is customary among Protestants to end prayers with "In Jesus' name, Amen" or "In the name of Christ, Amen."[57] However, the most commonly used closure in Christianity
is simply "Amen" (from a Hebrew adverb used as a statement of affirmation or agreement, usually translated as so be it). In the Western or Latin
Rite of the Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic
Church, probably the most common is the Rosary; In the Eastern Church (the Eastern rites of the Catholic Church
Catholic Church
and Orthodox Church), the Jesus
Prayer. The Jesus Prayer
Jesus Prayer
is also often repeated as part of the meditative hesychasm practice in Eastern Christianity.[58] Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic
tradition includes specific prayers and devotions as acts of reparation which do not involve a petition for a living or deceased beneficiary, but aim to repair the sins of others, e.g. for the repair of the sin of blasphemy performed by others.[59] Other forms of prayer among Catholics
would be meditative prayer, contemplative prayer and infused prayer discussed at length by Catholic Saints St. John of the Cross and St. Theresa of Jesus. Pentecostalism[edit] In Pentecostal congregations, prayer is often accompanied by speaking in a foreign tongue, a practice now known as glossolalia.[60] Practitioners of Pentecostal glossolalia may claim that the languages they speak in prayer are real foreign languages, and that the ability to speak those languages spontaneously is a gift of the Holy Spirit.[61][62][63] Some people outside of the movement, however, have offered dissenting views. George Barton Cutten suggested that glossolalia was a sign of mental illness.[64] Felicitas Goodman
Felicitas Goodman
suggested that tongue speakers were under a form of hypnosis.[65] Others suggest that it is a learned behaviour.[66][67] Some of these views have allegedly been refuted.[68][69] Christian Science[edit] Christian Science
Christian Science
teaches that prayer is a spiritualization of thought or an understanding of God
and of the nature of the underlying spiritual creation. Adherents believe that this can result in healing, by bringing spiritual reality (the "Kingdom of Heaven" in Biblical terms) into clearer focus in the human scene. The world as it appears to the senses is regarded as a distorted version of the world of spiritual ideas. Prayer
can heal the distortion. Christian Scientists believe that prayer does not change the spiritual creation but gives a clearer view of it, and the result appears in the human scene as healing: the human picture adjusts to coincide more nearly with the divine reality.[70] Christian Scientists
Christian Scientists
do not practice intercessory prayer as it is commonly understood, and they generally avoid combining prayer with medical treatment in the belief that the two practices tend to work against each other. (However, the choice of healing method is regarded as a matter for the individual, and the Christian Science
Christian Science
Church exerts no pressure on members to avoid medical treatment if they wish to avail of it as an alternative to Christian Science
Christian Science
healing.[citation needed]) Prayer
works through love: the recognition of God's creation as spiritual, intact, and inherently lovable.[71] Prevalence of prayer for health[edit] Some modalities of alternative medicine employ prayer. A survey released in May 2004[72] by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, part of the National Institutes of Health
National Institutes of Health
in the United States, found that in 2002, 43% of Americans pray for their own health, 24% pray for others' health, and 10% participate in a prayer group for their own health. Islam[edit] Main articles: Salat
and Dua

Important positions during salat in the majority of Sunni Muslim
Sunni Muslim

The Arabic
word for prayer is salah. In Islam, there are five daily obligatory prayers that are considered as one of the pillars of the religion. The command to ritual prayer is in the Qur'an in several chapters (surahs). The prayer is performed by the person while they are facing the Kaaba
in Mecca. There is the "call for prayer" (adhan), where the muezzin calls for all the followers to stand together for the prayer. The prayer consists of actions such as glorifying and praising God
(such as mentioning ‘Allāhu Akbar’ (‘Allāh (God) is Great) while standing, recitation of chapters of the Qur'an (such as the opening chapter of the book (Al-Fatiha), bowing down then praising God, prostrating (sujud) then again praising God
and it ends with the words: "Peace be with you and God’s mercy". During the prayer, a Muslim cannot talk or do anything else besides pray. Once the prayer is complete, one can offer personal prayers or supplications to God
for their needs that are known as dua. There are many standard invocations in Arabic
to be recited at various times (e.g. after the prayer) and for various occasions (e.g. for one's parents) with manners and etiquette such as before eating. Muslims
may also say dua in their own words and languages for any issue they wish to communicate with God
in the hope that God
will answer their prayers.[25] It is believed that the prophet Muhammed showed each Muslim the true method of offering prayers thus the same method is believed to have been preserved and observed up to the present time with the schools of thought having a few differences in the belief in the way it was performed. Certain Shi'a sects pray the five daily prayers divided into three separate parts of the day, providing several Hadith as supporting evidence.[73] Bahá'í[edit] Main article: Prayer
in the Bahá'í Faith Bahá'u'lláh, the Báb, and `Abdu'l-Bahá
wrote many prayers for general use, and some for specific occasions, including for unity, detachment, spiritual upliftment, and healing among others. Bahá'ís are also required to recite each day one of three obligatory prayers composed by Bahá'u'lláh. The believers have been enjoined to face in the direction of the Qiblih
when reciting their Obligatory Prayer. The longest obligatory prayer may be recited at any time during the day; another, of medium length, is recited once in the morning, once at midday, and once in the evening; and the shortest can be recited anytime between noon and sunset. Bahá'ís also read from and meditate on the scriptures every morning and evening.[74] Animism[edit] Main articles: Animism
and Shamanism Although prayer in its literal sense is not used in animism, communication with the spirit world is vital to the animist way of life. This is usually accomplished through a shaman who, through a trance, gains access to the spirit world and then shows the spirits' thoughts to the people. Other ways to receive messages from the spirits include using astrology or contemplating fortune tellers and healers.[75] The native religions in some parts of North, East and South Asia, America, Africa, and Oceania
are often animistic. Americas[edit] Main article: Aztec religion The Aztec religion
Aztec religion
was not strictly animist. It had an ever-increasing pantheon of deities, and the shamans performed ritual prayer to these deities in their respective temples. These shamans made petitions to the proper deities in exchange for a sacrifice offering: food, flowers, effigies, and animals, usually quail. But the larger the thing required from the God
the larger the sacrifice had to be, and for the most important rites one would offer one's own blood; by cutting his ears, arms, tongue, thighs, chest or genitals, and often a human life; either warrior, slave, or even self-sacrifice.[76] The Pueblo Indians are known to have used prayer sticks, that is, sticks with feathers attached as supplicatory offerings. The Hopi Indians used prayer sticks as well, but they attached to it a small bag of sacred meal.[77] Australia[edit] Main articles: Australian Aboriginal mythology
Australian Aboriginal mythology
and Dreamtime In Australia, prayers to the "Great Wit" are performed by the "clever wapmen" and "clever women", or kadji. These Aboriginal shamans use maban or mabain, the material that is believed to give them their purported magical powers.[78] Eastern religions[edit] In contrast with Western religion, Eastern religion
Eastern religion
for the most part discards worship and places devotional emphasis on the practice of meditation alongside scriptural study. Consequently, prayer is seen as a form of meditation or an adjunct practice to meditation.[citation needed] Buddhism[edit]

Buddhists praying with incense at Wat Phra Kaew, Thailand

In certain Buddhist sects, prayer accompanies meditation. Buddhism
for the most part sees prayer as a secondary, supportive practice to meditation and scriptural study. Gautama Buddha
Gautama Buddha
claimed that human beings possess the capacity and potential to become liberated, or enlightened, through contemplation (Sanskrit: bhāvana and dhyāna), leading to insight. Prayer
is seen mainly as a powerful psycho-physical practice that can enhance meditation.[79] In the earliest Buddhist tradition, the Theravada, and in the later Mahayana
tradition of Zen
(or Chán), prayer plays only an ancillary role. It is largely a ritual expression of wishes for success in the practice and in helping all beings.[80][81][82][83] The skillful means (Sanskrit: upāya) of the transfer of merit (Sanskrit: pariṇāmanā) is an evocation and prayer. Moreover, indeterminate buddhas are available for intercession as they reside in awoken-fields (Sanskrit: buddha-kshetra). The nirmānakāya of an awoken-field is what is generally known and understood as a mandala. The opening and closing of the ring (Sanskrit: maṇḍala) is an active prayer. An active prayer is a mindful activity, an activity in which mindfulness is not just cultivated but is.[84] A common prayer is "May the merit of my practice, adorn Buddhas' Pure Lands, requite the fourfold kindness from above, and relieve the suffering of the three life-journeys below. Universally wishing sentient beings, Friends, foes, and karmic creditors, all to activate the bodhi mind, and all to be reborn in the Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss." (願以此功德 莊嚴佛淨土 上報四重恩 下濟三途苦 普願諸眾生 冤親諸債主 悉發菩提心 同生極樂國)[85] The Generation Stage
Generation Stage
(Sanskrit: utpatti-krama) of Vajrayana
involves prayer elements.[86] The Tibetan Buddhism
tradition emphasizes an instructive and devotional relationship to a guru; this may involve devotional practices known as guru yoga which are congruent with prayer. It also appears that Tibetan Buddhism
posits the existence of various deities, but the peak view of the tradition is that the deities or yidam are no more existent or real than the continuity (Sanskrit: santana; refer mindstream) of the practitioner, environment and activity. But how practitioners engage yidam or tutelary deities will depend upon the level or more appropriately yana at which they are practicing. At one level, one may pray to a deity for protection or assistance, taking a more subordinate role. At another level, one may invoke the deity, on a more equal footing. And at a higher level one may deliberately cultivate the idea that one has become the deity, whilst remaining aware that its ultimate nature is śūnyatā. The views of the more esoteric yana are impenetrable for those without direct experience and empowerment. Pure Land Buddhism
emphasizes the recitation by devotees of prayer-like mantras, a practice often called Nembutsu.[87]:190 On one level it is said that reciting these mantras can ensure rebirth into a Sambhogakāya land (Sanskrit: buddha-kshetra) after bodily dissolution, a sheer ball spontaneously co-emergent to a buddha's enlightened intention. According to Shinran, the founder of the Pure Land Buddhism
tradition that is most prevalent in the US,[87]:193[88] "for the long haul nothing is as efficacious as the Nembutsu."[87]:197[89] On another, the practice is a form of meditation aimed at achieving realization.[citation needed] But beyond all these practices the Buddha emphasized the primacy of individual practice and experience. He said that supplication to gods or deities was not necessary. Nevertheless, today many lay people in East Asian countries pray to the Buddha in ways that resemble Western prayer—asking for intervention and offering devotion. Hinduism[edit] Main article: Prayer
in Hinduism

Shakta Hindus in Dhaka, Bangladesh, pray to the goddess during Durga Puja, October 2003

has incorporated many kinds of prayer (Sanskrit: prārthanā), from fire-based rituals to philosophical musings. While chanting involves 'by dictum' recitation of timeless verses or verses with timings and notations, dhyanam involves deep meditation (however short or long) on the preferred deity/God. Again the object to which prayers are offered could be a persons referred as devtas, trinity or incarnation of either devtas or trinity or simply plain formless meditation as practiced by the ancient sages. These prayers can be directed to fulfilling personal needs or deep spiritual enlightenment, and also for the benefit of others. Ritual
invocation was part and parcel of the Vedic religion and as such permeated their sacred texts. Indeed, the highest sacred texts of the Hindus, the Vedas, are a large collection of mantras and prayer rituals. Classical Hinduism
came to focus on extolling a single supreme force, Brahman, that is made manifest in several lower forms as the familiar gods of the Hindu pantheon[dubious – discuss]. Hindus in India
have numerous devotional movements. Hindus may pray to the highest absolute God Brahman, or more commonly to Its three manifestations namely creator god called Brahma, preserver god called Vishnu
and destroyer god (so that the creation cycle can start afresh) Shiva, and at the next level to Vishnu's avatars (earthly appearances) Rama
and Krishna
or to many other male or female deities. Typically, Hindus pray with their hands (the palms) joined together in pranam.[90] The hand gesture is similar to the popular Indian greeting namaste. Jainism[edit] Although Jainism
believes that no spirit or divine being can assist them on their path, these figures do hold some influence on believers, and on special occasions, Jains will pray for right knowledge to the twenty-four Tirthankaras. Shinto[edit] Main articles: Shinto
and Ema (Shintō)

A man praying at a Japanese Shinto

The practices involved in Shinto
prayer are heavily influenced by Buddhism; Japanese Buddhism
has also been strongly influenced by Shinto
in turn. The most common and basic form of devotion involves throwing a coin, or several, into a collection box, ringing a bell, clapping one's hands, and contemplating one's wish or prayer silently. The bell and hand clapping are meant to wake up or attract the attention of the kami of the shrine, so that one's prayer may be heard. Shinto
prayers quite frequently consist of wishes or favors asked of the kami, rather than lengthy praises or devotions. Unlike in certain other faiths, it is not considered irregular or inappropriate to ask favors of the kami in this way, and indeed many shrines are associated with particular favors, such as success on exams. In addition, one may write one's wish on a small wooden tablet, called an ema, and leave it hanging at the shrine, where the kami can read it. If the wish is granted, one may return to the shrine to leave another ema as an act of thanksgiving. Sikhism[edit]

A Sikh
holy man, doing Sikh

The Ardās
(Punjabi: ਅਰਦਾਸ) is a Sikh
prayer that is done before performing or after undertaking any significant task; after reciting the daily Banis
(prayers); or completion of a service like the Paath (scripture reading/recitation), kirtan (hymn-singing) program or any other religious program. In Sikhism, these prayers are also said before and after eating. The prayer is a plea to God
to support and help the devotee with whatever he or she is about to undertake or has done. The Ardas is usually always done standing up with folded hands. The beginning of the Ardas is strictly set by the tenth Sikh
Guru, Guru Gobind Singh. When it comes to conclusion of this prayer, the devotee uses words like " Waheguru please bless me in the task that I am about to undertake" when starting a new task or "Akal Purakh, having completed the hymn-singing, we ask for your continued blessings so that we can continue with your memory and remember you at all times", etc. The word "Ardās" is derived from Persian word 'Arazdashat', meaning a request, supplication, prayer, petition or an address to a superior authority. Ardās
is a unique prayer based on the fact that it is one of the few well-known prayers in the Sikh
religion that was not written in its entirety by the Gurus. The Ardās
cannot be found within the pages of the Guru Granth Sahib
Guru Granth Sahib
because it is a continually changing devotional text that has evolved over time in order for it to encompass the feats, accomplishments, and feelings of all generations of Sikhs within its lines. Taking the various derivation of the word Ardās into account, the basic purpose of this prayer is an appeal to Waheguru for his protection and care, as well as being a plea for the welfare and prosperity of all mankind, and a means for the Sikhs to thank Waheguru for all that he has done.[91][92] Taoism[edit]

in Mengjia Longshan Temple, Taiwan.

in its earliest form, before being influenced by the arrival of Buddhism
in China, was a philosophy rather than a religion. In Taoism there is no deity to pray to, there is only the Tao. In practice Taoists seek to connect with, become one with and embody the Tao in everyday life. This often involves meditative practices including martial, healing and other arts such as Fulu, which is the drawing and writing of supernatural talismans.[93][94] Taoism
is often blended with other practices such as ancestor worship, which can give rise to prayer directed at the ancestors or other deceased historical figures. Other religions[edit] Wicca[edit] Wiccan prayers can include meditation, rituals and incantations. Prayers are seen as a form of communication with the God
and Goddess. This may include prayers for esbat and sabbat celebrations, for dinner, for pre-dawn times or for your own or others safety, for healing or for the dead.[95] Raëlism[edit] In Raëlism
rites and practises vary from initiation ceremonies, to sensual meditation. An initiation ceremony usually involves a Raelian putting water on the forehead of a new member. Such ceremonies are performed on certain special days on the Raelian calendar.[96] Sensual meditation techniques include breathing exercises and various forms of erotic meditation.[97] Eckankar[edit] In Eckankar, one of the basic forms of prayer includes singing the word "HU" which is pronounced as "hue", a holy name of God. This can be done with eyes closed or open, aloud or silently. Practitioners may experience the divine ECK or Holy Spirit.[98] Pre-Christian Europe[edit] Etruscan, Greek, and Roman paganism[edit] In the pre-Christian religions of Greeks and Romans (Ancient Greek religion, Roman religion), ceremonial prayer was highly formulaic and ritualized.[99][100] The Iguvine Tables
Iguvine Tables
contain a supplication that can be translated, "If anything was said improperly, if anything was done improperly, let it be as if it were done correctly." The formalism and formulaic nature of these prayers led them to be written down in language that may have only been partially understood by the writer, and our texts of these prayers may in fact be garbled. Prayers in Etruscan were used in the Roman world by augurs and other oracles long after Etruscan became a dead language. The Carmen Arvale and the Carmen Saliare
Carmen Saliare
are two specimens of partially preserved prayers that seem to have been unintelligible to their scribes, and whose language is full of archaisms and difficult passages.[101] Roman prayers and sacrifices were often envisioned as legal bargains between deity and worshipper. The Roman principle was expressed as do ut des: "I give, so that you may give." Cato the Elder's treatise on agriculture contains many examples of preserved traditional prayers; in one, a farmer addresses the unknown deity of a possibly sacred grove, and sacrifices a pig in order to placate the god or goddess of the place and beseech his or her permission to cut down some trees from the grove.[102] Germanic paganism[edit]

The valkyrie Sigrdrífa
says a pagan Norse prayer in Sigrdrífumál; Illustration by Arthur Rackham

An amount of accounts of prayers to the gods in Germanic paganism survived the process of Christianization, though only a single prayer has survived without the interjection of Christian references. This prayer is recorded in stanzas 2 and 3 of the poem Sigrdrífumál, compiled in the 13th century Poetic Edda
Poetic Edda
from earlier traditional sources, where the valkyrie Sigrdrífa
prays to the gods and the earth after being woken by the hero Sigurd.[103] A prayer to the bigger god Odin
is mentioned in chapter 2 of the Völsunga saga
Völsunga saga
where King Rerir prays for a child. His prayer is answered by Frigg, wife of Odin, who sends him an apple, which is dropped on his lap by Frigg's servant in the form of a crow while Rerir is sitting on a mound. Rerir's wife eats the apple and is then pregnant with the hero Völsung. In stanza 9 of the poem Oddrúnargrátr, a prayer is made to "kind wights, Frigg
and Freyja, and many gods," although since the poem is often considered one of the youngest poems in the Poetic Edda, the passage has been the matter of some debate.[104] In chapter 21 of Jómsvíkinga saga, wishing to turn the tide of the Battle of Hjörungavágr, Haakon Sigurdsson
Haakon Sigurdsson
eventually finds his prayers answered by the goddesses Þorgerðr Hölgabrúðr and Irpa (the first of the two described as Haakon's patron goddess) who appear in the battle, kill many of the opposing fleet, and cause the remnants of their forces to flee. However, this depiction of a pagan prayer has been criticized as inaccurate due to the description of Haakon dropping to his knees.[105] The 11th-century manuscript for the Anglo-Saxon
charm Æcerbot presents what is thought to be an originally pagan prayer for the fertility of the speaker's crops and land, though Christianization
is apparent throughout the charm.[106] The 8th-century Wessobrunn Prayer has been proposed as a Christianized pagan prayer and compared to the pagan Völuspá[107] and the Merseburg Incantations, the latter recorded in the 9th or 10th century but of much older traditional origins.[108] Theurgy
and Western esotericism[edit] Practitioners of theurgy and western esotericism may practice a form of ritual which utilizes both pre-sanctioned prayers and names of God, and prayers "from the heart" that, when combined, allows the participant to ascend spiritually, and in some instances, induce a trance in which God
or other spiritual beings may be realized. Very similar to hermetic qabala, and orthodox qabala, it is believed that prayer can influence both the physical and non-physical worlds. The use of ritualistic signs and names are believed to be archetypes in which the subconscious may take form as the Inner God, or another spiritual being, and the "prayer from the heart" to be that spiritual force speaking through the participant. Thelema[edit]

Many Thelemites recite "Resh" (Liber Resh vel Helios, or "Liber CC") facing the direction of the ever-present sun as it rises in the East, triumphs in the South, sets in the West, and "hides" in the North. Photo shows a close-up of the Stele of Revealing.

In Thelema
(a religion or system of philosophy[109] that includes both theist as well as atheist practitioners) adherents share a number of practices that are forms of individual prayer, including basic yoga; (asana and pranayama); various forms of ritual magick; rituals of one's own devising (often based upon a syncretism of religions, or Western Esotericism, such as the Lesser Banishing Ritual
of the Pentagram and Star Ruby); and performance of Liber Resh vel Helios (aka Liber 200), which consists of four daily adorations to the sun (often consisting of 4 hand/body positions and recitation of a memorized song, normally spoken, addressing different godforms identified with the sun).[110] While there is no dogma within Thelema
that expresses the purpose behind any individual aspirant who chooses to perform "Resh", it may be noted that the practice of "Resh" is not a simple petition toward the sun, nor a form of "worshiping" the celestial body that we call the Sun, but instead uses the positioning of that source of light, which enables life on our planet, as well as uses mythological images of that solar force, so that the individual can perform the prayer, possibly furthering a self-identification with the sun, so "that repeated application of the Liber Resh adorations expands the consciousness of the individual by compelling him to take a different perspective, by inducing him to 'look at things from the point of view of the Sun'.[111] Prayer
groups[edit] A prayer group is a group of people that meet to pray together. These groups, formed mostly within Christian congregations but occasionally among Muslim groups as well,[112] gather outside of the congregation's regular worship service to pray for perceived needs, sometimes within the congregation, sometimes within their religious group at large. However, these groups often pray also for the world around them, including people who do not share their beliefs. Many prayer group meetings are held according to a regular schedule, usually once a week. However, extraordinary events, such as the September 11 attacks[113] or major disasters spawned a number of improvised prayer group meetings. Prayer
groups do not need to meet in person, and there are a vast array of single-purpose prayer groups in the world. Prayer
requests[edit] A prayer request is a religious practice in which personal requests for others, including organized prayer groups, to pray on behalf of the requester for any specific reasons. Requests are often collected in order to act upon them either as an organized prayer gathering or as individuals. Prayer
healing[edit] Main article: Faith
healing Prayer
is often used as a means of faith healing in an attempt to use religious or spiritual means to prevent illness, cure disease, or improve health. Some attempt to heal by prayer, mental practices, spiritual insights, or other techniques, claiming they can summon divine or supernatural intervention on behalf of the ill. Others advocate that ill people may achieve healing through prayer performed by themselves.[114] According to the varied beliefs of those who practice it, faith healing may be said to afford gradual relief from pain or sickness or to bring about a sudden "miracle cure", and it may be used in place of, or in tandem with, conventional medical techniques for alleviating or curing diseases. Faith healing
Faith healing
has been criticized on the grounds that those who use it may delay seeking potentially curative conventional medical care. This is particularly problematic when parents use faith healing techniques on children. Efficacy of prayer
Efficacy of prayer
healing[edit] Main article: Efficacy of prayer

To pray over an individual while laying hands on them is a form of faith healing in Christianity.

In 1872, Francis Galton
Francis Galton
conducted a famous statistical experiment to determine whether prayer had a physical effect on the external environment. Galton hypothesized that if prayer was effective, members of the British Royal family would live longer, given that thousands prayed for their wellbeing every Sunday. He therefore compared longevity in the British Royal family with that of the general population, and found no difference.[7] While the experiment was probably intended to satirize, and suffered from a number of confounders, it set the precedent for a number of different studies, the results of which are contradictory. Two studies claimed that patients who are being prayed for recover more quickly or more frequently although critics have claimed that the methodology of such studies are flawed, and the perceived effect disappears when controls are tightened.[115] One such study, with a double-blind design and about 500 subjects per group, was published in 1988; it suggested that intercessory prayer by born again Christians had a statistically significant positive effect on a coronary care unit population.[8] Critics contend that there were severe methodological problems with this study.[11] Another such study was reported by Harris et al.[9] Critics also claim that the 1988 study was not fully double-blinded, and that in the Harris study, patients actually had a longer hospital stay in the prayer group, if one discounts the patients in both groups who left before prayers began,[116] although the Harris study did demonstrate the prayed for patients on average received lower course scores (indicating better recovery). One of the largest randomized, blind clinical trials was a remote retroactive intercessory prayer study conducted in Israel by Leibovici. This study used 3393 patient records from 1990–96, and blindly assigned some of these to an intercessory prayer group. The prayer group had shorter hospital stays and duration of fever.[117] Several studies of prayer effectiveness have yielded null results.[10] A 2001 double-blind study of the Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic
found no significant difference in the recovery rates between people who were (unbeknownst to them) assigned to a group that prayed for them and those who were not.[118] Similarly, the MANTRA study conducted by Duke University found no differences in outcome of cardiac procedures as a result of prayer.[119] In another similar study published in the American Heart Journal in 2006,[6] Christian intercessory prayer when reading a scripted prayer was found to have no effect on the recovery of heart surgery patients; however, the study found patients who had knowledge of receiving prayer had slightly higher instances of complications than those who did not know if they were being prayed for or those who did not receive prayer.[5][6] Another 2006 study suggested that prayer actually had a significant negative effect on the recovery of cardiac bypass patients, resulting in more frequent deaths and slower recovery time for those patient who received prayers.[6] Many believe that prayer can aid in recovery, not due to divine influence but due to psychological and physical benefits. It has also been suggested that if a person knows that he or she is being prayed for it can be uplifting and increase morale, thus aiding recovery. (See Subject-expectancy effect.) Many studies have suggested that prayer can reduce physical stress, regardless of the god or gods a person prays to, and this may be true for many worldly reasons. According to a study by Centra State Hospital, "the psychological benefits of prayer may help reduce stress and anxiety, promote a more positive outlook, and strengthen the will to live."[120] Other practices such as yoga, t'ai chi, and meditation may also have a positive impact on physical and psychological health. Others feel that the concept of conducting prayer experiments reflects a misunderstanding of the purpose of prayer. The previously mentioned study published in the American Heart Journal indicated that some of the intercessors who took part in it complained about the scripted nature of the prayers that were imposed to them,[6] saying that this is not the way they usually conduct prayer:

Prior to the start of this study, intercessors reported that they usually receive information about the patient’s age, gender and progress reports on their medical condition; converse with family members or the patient (not by fax from a third party); use individualized prayers of their own choosing; and pray for a variable time period based on patient or family request.

One scientific movement attempts to track the physical effects of prayer through neuroscience. Leaders in this movement include Andrew Newberg, an Associate Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. In Newberg's brain scans, monks, priests, nuns, sisters and gurus alike have exceptionally focused attention and compassion sites. This is a result of the frontal lobe of the brain’s engagement (Newberg, 2009). Newburg believes that anybody can connect to the supernatural with practice. Those without religious affiliations benefit from the connection to the metaphysical as well. Newberg also states that further evidence towards humans' need for metaphysical relationships is that as science had increased spirituality has not decreased. Newburg believes that at the end of the 18th century, when the scientific method began to consume[page needed] the human mind, religion could have vanished. However, two hundred years later, the perception of spirituality, in many instances, appears to be gaining in strength (2009). Newberg's research also provides the connection between prayer and meditation and health. By understanding how the brain works during religious experiences and practices Newberg's research shows that the brain changes during these practices allowing an understanding of how religion affects psychological and physical health (2009). For example, brain activity during meditation indicates that people who frequently practice prayer or meditation experience lower blood-pressure, lower heart rates, decreased anxiety, and decreased depression.[121] Skepticism[edit] In his book, Christopher Hitchens
Christopher Hitchens
says of prayer that if the petitioner is praying to a god which is omnipotent and all-knowing, it would be presumptuous for the petitioner to believe they understand the grand scheme of things sufficiently to pray for what is best. For example, he interprets Ambrose Bierce's definition of prayer by stating that "the man who prays is the one who thinks that god has arranged matters all wrong, but who also thinks that he can instruct god how to put them right."[122] Daniel Dennett
Daniel Dennett
says that prayer may relieve a person of the need to take active measures to address issues around them, stating:

Surely it does the world no harm if those who can honestly do so pray for me! No, I'm not at all sure about that. For one thing, if they really wanted to do something useful, they could devote their prayer time and energy to some pressing project that they can do something about.[123]

This potential drawback manifests in extreme forms in such cases as Christian Scientists
Christian Scientists
who rely on prayers instead of seeking medical treatment for family members for easily curable conditions which later result in death.[124] Non-religious uses of prayer[edit] In medieval England, prayers (particularly the paternoster) were frequently used as a measure of time in medical and culinary recipe books.[125] See also[edit]

24-7 Prayer
Movement Affirmative prayer Affirmations (New Age) Catholic prayers Daily Prayer
for Peace Devotional literature Ho'oponopono Interior life (Catholic theology) Jewish prayers and blessings Jewish services List of prayers Magical thinking Mani stone Moment of silence Mystic prayer National Day of Prayer
National Day of Prayer
(US) Orant Prayer
beads Prayer
in LDS theology and practice Prayer
in school Prayer
software Prayer
wheel Prie-dieu Rosary Shuckling Tibetan prayer flag


^ James also gives descriptions of conversion experiences. The Christian model of dramatic conversions, based on the role-model of Paul's conversion, may also have served as a model for Western interpretations and expectations regarding "enlightenment", similar to Protestant influences on Theravada
Buddhism, as described by Carrithers: "It rests upon the notion of the primacy of religious experiences, preferably spectacular ones, as the origin and legitimation of religious action. But this presupposition has a natural home, not in Buddhism, but in Christian and especially Protestant Christian movements which prescribe a radical conversion."[37][citation not found] See Sekida for an example of this influence of William James
William James
and Christian conversion stories, mentioning Luther[38][citation not found] and St. Paul.[39] See also McMahan for the influence of Christian thought on Buddhism.[40][citation not found] ^ Robert Sharf: "[T]he role of experience in the history of Buddhism has been greatly exaggerated in contemporary scholarship. Both historical and ethnographic evidence suggests that the privileging of experience may well be traced to certain twentieth-century reform movements, notably those that urge a return to zazen or vipassana meditation, and these reforms were profoundly influenced by religious developments in the west [...] While some adepts may indeed experience "altered states" in the course of their training, critical analysis shows that such states do not constitute the reference point for the elaborate Buddhist discourse pertaining to the "path".[44][citation not found] ^ William Blake: "If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thru' narrow chinks of his cavern."[50]

References and footnotes[edit]

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De Agri Cultura
(141), English translation at: Jonathan Slocum; Carol Justus, eds. (13 May 2014), "Cato's Mars Prayer", Indo-European Texts: Old Latin, Linguistics Research Center at UT Austin, archived from the original on 3 September 2006  ^ "The Poetic Edda: Sigrdrifumol".  ^ Grundy, Stephan (1998). " Freyja
and Frigg" as collected in Billington, Sandra. The Concept of the Goddess, p. 60. Routledge ISBN 0-415-19789-9 ^ Hollander, Lee (trans.) (1955). The saga of the Jómsvíkings, p. 100. University of Texas Press
University of Texas Press
ISBN 0-292-77623-3 ^ Gordon, R. K. (1962). Anglo-Saxon
Poetry. Everyman's Library #794. M. Dent & Sons, LTD. ^ Lambdin, Laura C and Robert T. (2000). Encyclopedia of Medieval Literature, p. 227. Greenwood Publishing Group ISBN 0-313-30054-2 ^ Wells, C. J." (1985). German, a Linguistic History to 1945: A Linguistic History to 1945, p 51. Oxford University Press ISBN 0-19-815795-9 ^ Thelema
is seen by some neutral parties as a philosophy, and not a religion. See Crowley, Aleister. Little Essays Toward Truth, p. 61-62 New Falcon Publications; 2 Rev Sub edition (May 1, 1996) ISBN 1-56184-000-9 ("These and similar considerations lead to certain types of philosophical skepticism. Neschamic conceptions are nowise exempt from this criticism, for, even supposing them identical in any number of persons, their expression, being intellectual, will suffer the same stress as normal perceptions. [...] But none of this shakes, or even threatens, the Philosophy
of Thelema. On the contrary, it may be called the Rock of its foundation."); See also Thelemapedia, "Arguments against Thelema
being a religion" available at: http://www.thelemapedia.org/index.php/Arguments_against_Thelema_being_a_religion ^ DuQuette, Lon Milo. The Magick of Aleister Crowley: A Handbook of the Rituals of Thelema, p. 12. Weiser, 2003. ISBN 1-57863-299-4. ^ Hessle, Erwin. "The Point of View of the Sun".  ^ "About Islamic Prayer
Group (U.K)", Islamicprayergroup.com, archived from the original on 2009-07-17  ^ "World Wide Prayer
Group". Archived from the original on 2008-10-09. Retrieved 2008-10-30.  ^ "Pell adamant prayer cures cancer". The Age. Melbourne. 2009-12-21.  ^ Anonymous (July 20, 2005), "Skeptico – Prayer
still useless", skeptico.blogs.com (blog), archived from the original on 2014-11-04  ^ Tessman I and Tessman J "Efficacy of Prayer: A Critical Examination of Claims," Skeptical Inquirer, March/April 2000, ^ Leibovici, L (2001). "Effects of remote, retroactive intercessory prayer on outcomes in patients with bloodstream infection: randomized controlled trial". BMJ. 323 (7327): 1450–1. doi:10.1136/bmj.323.7327.1450. PMC 61047 . PMID 11751349.  ^ Aviles, JM; Whelan, SE; Hernke, DA; Williams, BA; Kenny, KE; O'Fallon, WM; Kopecky, SL (2001). " Intercessory prayer and cardiovascular disease progression in a coronary care unit population: a randomized controlled trial". Mayo Clin Proc. 76 (12): 1192–8. doi:10.4065/76.12.1192. PMID 11761499.  ^ Krucoff, MW; Crater, SW; Gallup, D; Blankenship, JC; Cuffe, M; Guarneri, M; Krieger, RA; Kshettry, VR; Morris, K; Oz, M; Pichard, A; Sketch, MH Jr; Koenig, HG; Mark, D; Lee, KL (2005). "Music, imagery, touch, and prayer as adjuncts to interventional cardiac care: the Monitoring and Actualisation of Noetic Trainings (MANTRA) II randomised study". Lancet. 366 (9481): 211–7. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(05)66910-3. PMID 16023511.  ^ Mind and Spirit Archived 2009-02-01 at the Wayback Machine.. from the Health Library section of CentraState Healthcare System. Accessed May 18, 2006. ^ Newberg, Andrew. Interviewed by Barbra Bradley Hagerty. " Prayer
May Re-Shape Your Brain". www.npr.org "All Things Considered." 20 May 2009. National Public Radio. Web. 30 June 2010. https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyID=104310443 ^ Hitchens, Christopher (2012). Mortality. New York: Twelve. ISBN 9781455502752. OCLC 776526158. [page needed] ^ Dennett, Daniel C. (2007). "Thank Goodness". In Hitchens, Christopher. The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever. Philadelphia: Da Capo Press. ISBN 9780306816086. OCLC 156811900. [page needed] ^ Margolick, David (6 August 1990). "In Child Deaths, a Test for Christian Science". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2014-11-04.  ^ Irma Taavitsainen, 'Middle English Recipes: Genre Characteristics, Text Type Features and Underlying Traditions of Writing', Journal of Historical Pragmatics, 2 (2001), 85–113 (p. 103), DOI: 10.1075/jhp.2.1.05taa.

Further reading[edit]

Stein, Rob (March 24, 2006). "Researchers Look at Prayer
and Healing". Washington Post. Retrieved 2014-11-04. 

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