The Significance and Purpose of Prayer

Prayer is communication between human and divine spheres. We pray to Almighty God for health, happiness and prosperity and appeal to God to bless and protect us in times of sickness and crises in life. While praying we may sit, stand, kneel, prostrate, chant, sing and dance or remain silent, read scriptures, or worship our idols by offering water, food, flowers and fruits and so on. Prayer can be done at individual or community level. It motivates the inner life of individuals and the collective life of human cultures. The very effort involved in prayer tends to calm and soothe our mind and heart. The impulse to ask for divine assistance is an integral part of being human.

Every significant action begins with prayer. All scriptures, art, architecture, drama, dance and music have originally started as prayer. Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists all have ritual prayer characteristic of their religion. Devotional prayer to God or spiritual idol is regular and routine repetition at set intervals during the day or week. Prayer usually comprises words of praise of God or Almighty describing His absolute power, generosity and compassion, together with an appeal: ‘Help me Oh God! Forgive me Oh Lord!’ Prayer is an attempt to be connected to God or Supreme Consciousness at achieving His divine blessings and grace.

Prayers are invisible, but make impossible things possible.

Dr.Mahesh Chandra Panda

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About drmcpanda

Dr.Mahesh Chandra Panda Date of Birth:29.02.1948 Qualification:M.B.B.S.,M.D. Retd. (29.02.2008) Chief District Medical Officer Bargarh Orissa India
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7 Responses to The Significance and Purpose of Prayer

  1. Whether God created man or not might be debated but one thing beyond any debate is “Great creation of God” by men. Faith of existence of God or a Supernatural Power is basis of lot of activity on this planet. Lot of temples, churches, mosques and Gurudwaras have been constructed to reinforce and perpetuate this faith. Different religions have arrived at different rituals to pray. Everybody has his moments of difficulty, hopelessness, failures and impossible situations in his life. Prayer is only ray of hope in such situations which provides peace to anxious mind. Concept of soul and Supreme Soul, too helps to connect people with this ultimate source of strength and justice. More this faith is strongly embedded in mind, greater is sincerity in prayer and resultant peace in mind. The benefits of prayer, too are directly proportional to time spent on prayer and in some people’s mind, to the amount of money offered to God. Key to all this phenomenon is faith of humans, which precipitates as peace in mind. Ultimate treasure a person can get is durable peace; for which God is infinite source. He is located in our own limbic cortex (Part of brain) and is pictured in form of individual’s belief. Mode and duration of prayer is also helpful in pacifying mind. Significance and purpose of prayer is “To bring our mind in a state of complete submission, to shed ourselves of responsibility of result, to connect to Hope, Strength, Health, Justice and Eternity.” Humanity is tuned to work (howsoever hard) for a purpose, but is not in control of result. The result depends on so many factors which are beyond the control of persons. It is this uncertainty which generates anxiety. Submission to God in hope of good results leads to prayers. This basic need has grown in to a huge plethora of activities leading to grouping and division of societies in to different religions. Each religion has developed its own God and modes of prayers. Let us hope that people only derive strength from their God and do not fight with people of different God.

  2. Sir,
    Namaskar.

    A nice article which enlighted The Significance and Purpose of Prayer. 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.

    Kedarnath Sahu
    Sohela Dist.Bargarh Odisha

  3. Madhusudhan Mahunta says:

    Sir,
    Namaskar.

    Your article which describes about Prayer gives mental peace and purify the heart and soul.It develops the mental and physical stamina of a person.Through Prayer we can establish the rapport in between our soul and Almighty.

    Madhusudan Mahunta
    Sai devotee
    Sohela Dist.Bargarh Odisha

  4. Respected Sir,

    Prayer is nothing but connotations of respectable and submissionable words emanating from heart that calls to whom he is blended in the heart of the caller.As such prayer is the greatest saver weapon which imparts positive energy to prayers. Let us analyse how it works on the person who does prayer. It is the food of the mind.Hence mind is controlled by prayer.But how to do,when to do, where to do,why to do and whom to do it is question; because answer is not always and easily available. Hence prayer is an unending learning process that is only answered by intense unflinching faith and total surrender.Prayer is related to spirituality and not bound to caste,creed,nation & religions.It is medium to unite with divine that is essence in all.Hence prayer is last resort to get path of pleasure. This is main purpose and its significance is how to march into started journey place.That is ultimate goal of an individual and only possible by prayer.

    With Regards,
    Your Divine Brother
    Dr.Binod Bihari Naik
    Bargarh,Odisha

  5. Rajesh Kumar Panda says:

    Respected Dear Kaka,
    I read your article and one thing I derive from that is “The truth of ATMA or soul which is present in all living being”.
    Please convey my regards to Kakima and blessings to youngers.
    Yours Lovingly,
    Rajesh

  6. Prakash Padhan says:

    Respected Sir,

    I posted my comment earlier, may be due to technical problem of my cell phone not reached to you. Whenever I face problem I pray to God. I get energy from prayer. According to Rabindranath Tagore in Gitanjali, prayer should not be for self benefit…’bipade more Raksha karo e nuhe mor prarthana, bipade Ami najen kari bhay…’ Mahatma Gandhi also highlighted about importance of prayer in his autobiography.

    With High Regards

  7. Purnima Panda says:

    Pranam kaka,

    It is a nice article which contents the importance of prayer. In Hinduism prayer takes on many forms. Their purpose ,however, is essentially the same which is seeking communion with God, expressing one’s love and devotion to them and obtaining their blessings and favors. Whatever may be the religion the prayer should be pure and selfless, because it is a medium where Atma relates to Paramatma.

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