Prayer

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Prayer is the religious practice of addressing a god, gods, or other spirits.

Prayer may be individual or communal. Its wording may be prescribed or spontaneous, or it may be wordless. Its purpose and content may include adoration, thanksgiving, confession, submission, and requests on behalf of oneself or others.

Philosophers have suggested a number of problems with the concept of petitionary prayer (the practice of asking God for something), noting that it is not completely compatible with the traditional conception of theism. If one is petitioning God to change something in the world, then God will already know before the petitioner asks, if he is omniscient.

Prayer is also offered to God for other reasons: because it is prescribed and to help the believer put himself in the right frame-of-mind. For instance, the saying of grace before meals is done to thank God for providing for the meal they are about to eat, but many see it more as a way to keep the believer in a state of humility.

Many religions encourage or require that adherents participate in prayer. Prayer rituals differ amongst religions and show a variety of characteristics. Muslims have a requirement for five daily prayers, signified in predominantly Muslim areas with a call to prayer that is amplified or broadcast.

Health care

For more information, see: Faith healing.


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