The way in which believers communicate to God

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Praying to people outside the Trinity

I understand that the Roman Catholic church direct some prayers to Mary, the mother of Jesus. For me it would be strange to address my prayers to anyone outside the Holy Trinity. Do Catholics pray to ...
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5answers
3k views

What is the purpose of Prayer?

We are having a lovely discussion in chat about the purpose and efficacy of prayer. I am of the opinion that God has a plan and the future is completely set. However I also believe that you should ...
26
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6answers
629 views

Is the “sinner's prayer” important for salvation and why?

In evangelical churches the sinner's prayer is a very much emphasized aspect for someone to become or convert to being a Christian. In fact, most church services I attended growing up ended with the ...
19
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4answers
778 views

Is it ok to pray in public?

Matthew 6:6 (NIV) says: But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Does this ...
18
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6answers
2k views

To whom should we pray? To the Father or the son Jesus or the Holy Spirit?

While praying how should we pray? Should we praise the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and to whom should we ask? To the Father or the Son or the Holy Spirit? John 14:14 (ESV) says If you ...
17
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4answers
359 views

Scripted Prayers

Matthew 6:7 (KJV) 7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. My understanding of this scripture it is ...
17
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4answers
19k views

What is the origin of praying hands folded?

I was taught in Sunday school to pray hands folded. On the other hand, there's no biblical mention of the practice (as far as I know). It actually doesn't seem to matter which position we pray in. ...
16
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5answers
963 views

What exactly is a “Hail Mary”?

The practice of a saying a "Hail Mary" is often referred to in colloquial speech, sometimes as a way to caricaturize Catholics. References to the practice instantly conjure up images of Catholicism, ...
16
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7answers
858 views

How should Christians meditate?

In the recent years the word Meditation is used widely by everyone, and the word is used widely in non-religious context too. Should we, Christians meditate? If yes, what should we do while ...
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9answers
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Can we pray from any position?

I enjoy praying lying in bed just before I sleep ... until I fall asleep. In church I usually pray with my hands simply by my side or even with my hands in my pockets. I just let them stay wherever ...
15
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5answers
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Praying for someone's salvation. Is there a point? [on hold]

According to I Timothy 2:4 (NIV), God "...wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth". But since we have free will, God cannot make us choose to accept the salvation that is ...
14
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4answers
3k views

Are silent prayers heard?

Growing up in the church, silent prayers are pretty much part of how I pray. However, challenging assumptions, I'm curious to know how biblical this is. Every prayer I read about in the Bible is ...
14
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5answers
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Why isn't God mentioned in Esther?

As you may know, God is never mentioned in the book of Esther, either by name (Yahweh), title (Adonai), or being (El). Neither is prayer. Why not? I realize this is rather open ended, so I'll try to ...
14
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1answer
1k views

Why hold hands for grace?

My impression is that, among many Christians, people around a table saying a prayer thanking Jesus for a meal hold hands with one another. What is the origin of this practice, and are there any ...
13
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5answers
248 views

Is prayer effectively second-guessing God?

If one were to accept that God has a plan and that His will is to be honored, isn't hoping to sway God's plan for the future disrespectful? -- Update -- A lot of these answers are across the board, ...
12
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3answers
541 views

“I will lift Your Name”

Lots of Christian Rock songs have a curious metaphor about "Lifting Your Name". Is this a direct reference to the words of St. Paul, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend (Phil 2:10)? ...
12
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3answers
667 views

What should be a Christian's attitude when his prayers are not answered?

Not all prayers are answered by God. When one is facing some heavy burden God does not move away, what should our attitude be? The Bible often talks about waiting for God patient. How do we apply ...
12
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3answers
462 views

Effectiveness of prayers of intercession

I understand that there are many different reasons to pray: confessing your sins, thanking God for daily provisions. However, many people pray for intercession and believe in the possibility that ...
11
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3answers
421 views

How did the practice of soliciting the prayers of dead saints originate?

How did the practice of soliciting the prayers of dead saints originate? Did it start based on something in the bible? The apocrypha? A papal decree? On a side note, which groups practice this type ...
11
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3answers
3k views

Why is “in the name of Jesus Christ” usually used at the end?

In the scriptures, a phrase such as "in the name of the Lord" or "in the name of Jesus" is typically used at the beginning of statements, especially commands. In our day, I notice that most of our ...
11
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2answers
626 views

Do Roman Catholics believe Saints are omnipresent?

I understand that officially speaking when Catholics pray to saints, they are not supposed to really pray TO that saint, but rather are asking that saint to pray for them as you would ask any living ...
11
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1answer
2k views

What is “intercession” and what kinds of “intercessory prayer” are there?

Different traditions seem to have different ideas about intercession. What are the major different types of "intercessory prayer" and which traditions employ them? If applicable to the definition, ...
10
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4answers
635 views

What is the Rule of Prayer?

I often hear people thank God about how their prayer being answered such as in competition. But what I'm thinking is, the winner is not absolutely the only one that prayed. I believe everybody in the ...
10
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4answers
342 views

How is offering X Hail Marys not considered vain repetition?

So if the Hail Mary is a prayer and saying the prayer multiple times is encouraged in Catholicism, what established reason does the Catholic church give to justify it not being a vain repetition. ...
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3answers
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What is the Biblical or traditional precedent or command regarding praying before meals?

A very common Christian practice is to "say grace" or to "give thanks" before each meal. What is the Biblical precedent or command for this? In other words, why do we give thanks then and not before ...
10
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2answers
178 views

Is there any record of a visual method of prayer in the Bible?

Some context: I am deaf, though I can hear because of cochlear implants. As I have been able to hear since I was about 6.5 years old, I have an internal voice like pretty much every single ...
10
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1answer
260 views

Is veneration worship?

I answered this question calling adoration and veneration honor given to God and the saints accordingly. If you look at the edits for my answer, I think I had some confusion as to the terminology ...
10
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2answers
335 views

Praying the Liturgy of the Hours in private; out loud

For the laity, when praying the Liturgy of the Hours in private, is it more in keeping with tradition to you pray out loud or silently or does it matter? Also, do you change the way you repeat ...
10
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1answer
610 views

Do any Protestant denominations practice meditative or contemplative prayer?

Having read David's answer to How much are psalms and other prayers from Bible understood as actual prayer in Protestantism?, I wonder whether any Protestants practice meditative or contemplative ...
9
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4answers
506 views

What does the Bible say about praying too much?

I don't understand how these verses: "Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be ...
8
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3answers
429 views

Are there any mandatory prayers in Christianity?

Does Bible impose any type of mandatory prayer that you have to offer at particular time or particular day? If so, what are some important prayers? Is a prayer at Church more worthy than a prayer at ...
8
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6answers
399 views

If Protestants won't ask dead saints to intercede because there is no mediator but Jesus then why do they ask living Christians to pray for them?

Protestants reject the Catholic and Orthodox practice of asking deceased saints to pray for them, and I think there are two main reasons why they reject it: it is communicating with the dead, and it ...
8
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3answers
3k views

Debtors vs. Trespassers

I converted to the Presbyterian faith from a Catholic upbringing a while back and have always wondered - but never had anyone to ask - why Catholics use "Trespassers" in the Lord's prayer (Please ...
8
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3answers
878 views

Are there any examples of Jesus praying publicly?

As a follow up to this question: Is it ok to pray in public? There are many examples where Jesus prays privately and he will intentionally separate himself from his disciples, but are there examples ...
8
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3answers
5k views

What does it mean to pray in Jesus' Name?

A few times in the book of John, Jesus instructs us to pray "in His Name". What does this mean? How do we know if we are praying in His name? How would we not be praying in His name? I don't ...
8
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1answer
158 views

What is “Spiritual Warfare”?

What is spiritual warfare? And how is it different from malefic ("black") magic? One Evangelical Christian sums it up with, Prayer should not be spellcasting. God is not your djinni.
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3answers
397 views

What substitutes for prayers for the Pope's intentions during sede vacante?

One of the requirements one must meet to obtain an indulgence is to pray for the intentions of the pope. When there's no pope, what's the substitute? I guess it's the conclave and the next pope, but I ...
8
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3answers
350 views

Is it OK to question God about doubts?

Are there any biblical references that indicate that it's ok (or not ok) to bring any doubts to God in prayer?
8
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1answer
234 views

How much time did medieval Christians devote to prayer?

I was critiqued on this answer concerning it taking less time out of the day for someone to be a Muslim than a Christian, and that may be untrue for a majority of Christians today. But how much ...
7
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7answers
3k views

If Jesus is God, who/where does Jesus pray to?

I realize that some of Christianity believe God and Jesus to be one being, whereas some believe them to be separate and distinct beings. I come from the background of the latter group, which reasoning ...
7
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6answers
799 views

Why did Protestants abandon Liturgy of the Hours?

In Divine office or Liturgy of the Hours as it is practiced in Catholic Church there's nothing bad for Protestants (or at least nothing of which I know that Protestants consider bad); prayer is good ...
7
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2answers
91 views

How are the persons of the Trinity distinctively active in a Christian's prayer?

Another way of asking this question is by saying, "When God interacts with praying Christians, how do the persons of the Trinity interact in ways that neither of the other two persons do?" I'm asking ...
7
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2answers
7k views

Is there a difference between prayer and petition?

Philippians 4:6 uses two words, possibly implying a difference between prayer and petition. Can someone explain what this difference is? Philippians 4:6 (NIV) 6  Do not be anxious about ...
7
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2answers
189 views

How are doxologies formed for common prayers?

I'm not sure of the exact definition, but a doxology seems to be a prayer tagged at the end which consists of some sort of invocation of the Blessed Trinity. I'm just wondering if the actual words ...
6
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5answers
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Which God do Muslims pray to according to Catholic, Orthodox and main-stream Protestant tradition?

Which God do Muslims pray to according to Catholic, Orthodox and main-stream Protestant tradition? They believe that God cannot be One and Three at the same time. They believe that God can only be ...
6
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2answers
242 views

How does God speak today? [closed]

I've heard people say, "God has spoken to me." In the OT there were prophets proclaiming what God said. Sometimes in the Bible God speaks audibly (e.g. to Samuel). But today: in what way does God ...
6
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2answers
185 views

How are devout Christians viewed by other believers, when they are not delivered from “evil”?

If a devout Christian is not "delivered" in this life, how are they viewed by other Christians? For example, a black Christian pastor in segregated America, who truly loves the Lord, is killed by ...
6
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5answers
2k views

Does God Answer Every Prayer Asked In Jesus' Name?

In John 14:13-14, Jesus says the following to his disciples: And I will do whatever you ask in My name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask Me for anything in My name, ...
6
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2answers
198 views

Is there really a Catholic “blessing for bacon?”

The following appeared on my facebook feed today: The "what random things do we have short formulated prayers for" game is almost as funny as the "how many bizarre things do we have patron saints ...
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3answers
1k views

How biblical is group prayer?

Mathew 6:6 "But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you." I've been curious about this ...