Why is it important to offer Prayers?

For many Americans, every day is a day of prayer.  According to a 2014 Pew Research Center survey: More than half (55%) of Americans say they pray every day, while 21% say they pray weekly or monthly and 23% say they seldom or never pray. Even among those who are religiously unaffiliated, 20% say they pray daily. Women (64%) are more likely than men (46%) to pray every day. And Americans ages 65 and older are far more likely than adults under 30 to say they pray daily (65% vs. 41%)

So what does it mean by “prayer”? The dictionary defines prayer as “a solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God or an object of worship”. *

God is who you turn to when you have no one else to turn to.  Offering prayers is how you communicate with God. When life throws you curves, it is prayers that make you rise above helplessness and despair because they make you feel that God is by your side and make you feel safe and comforted.  

Every time I have prayed to God for a favor and it has been answered, after the initial excitement has worn off, I have often wondered if I should have intervened in God’s plan. I believe that God has a plan for all of us and he knows what is best, and so if he puts us in a difficult situation, he does so knowing that we have the capacity to come out of it stronger than before.

Prayers have also been attributed with the power to heal. They say that if people are praying for someone’s critical health, it makes a difference in that person’s recovery. In fact, research focusing on the power of prayer in healing has nearly doubled in the past 10 years, says David Larson, MD, MSPH, president of the National Institute for Healthcare Research, a private nonprofit agency.

In our busy lives, sometimes we wish to pray, but find it difficult to do so due to lack of time and space.  This should not be so, because to pray we do not necessarily need to leave everything aside and sit in a religious place of worship, be it a temple, a church, a mosque etc.  We can pray while doing our household chores, while driving a car, while waiting at a doctors office or while waiting at our child’s class. There are even prayer rooms in most of the airports around the world. There are many times when we get on our smartphone, when instead we could be reciting our prayers, silently, in our mind or out loud depending on where we are. Prayers can be offered in the morning or at night, after the bath or before a meal, on your day off or only during the religious festivals, whatever suits you. Even though there is a plethora of prayers to choose from, a prayer does not need to be a rhyming prose or a long recitation. It could be a few simple words of conversation with God.

In my opinion, a prayer offered for Strength, Guidance and Thanks, is the best one.

On a personal note, since I started doing nightly prayers with my children, they have started sleeping more peacefully and cheerfully. No need for bedtime stories anymore.  

Do you pray on a regular basis? If not, start now.  Even our country, the United States of America has declared May 5 as the National Day of Prayer where the United States Congress asks people “to turn to God in prayer and meditation”.

*I will be using the term God in this article in lieu of Supreme Being, Higher Being, Universal Consciousness or any way you define your object of worship.

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