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34

The phrase "pray to" confuses most people as it gives the impression that anyone who asks a saint to "pray for" them is actually praying to the saint as if he/she was God. This isn't true and is probably an artifact of language. The word "pray" also has the meaning to "make an earnest petition" so Catholics, and, I think, other Christians, call upon any ...


26

First off, it's useful to understand that Catholics (and that's Roman or Eastern Catholic, and, for that matter Eastern Orthodox) do not pray to the saints, so much as ask the faithful departed to pray for them to God. (1) The idea has it's roots in the "communion of saints", along the lines of Hebrew's 12: Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a ...


21

This is my personal opinion! I don't think there is anything wrong with scripted prayers, as one method of prayer. As Christianity is (according to most) above all, a relationship with Christ, then we ought to have relational conversations with Him. As such, many of our prayers ought to "come from the heart," to use your phrase. However, it is clear that ...


18

A bit of context (Matthew 6:5-6): “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who ...


17

This is an awfully big question, but here are what I think are the key points from scripture: Prayer is more than just asking for things. Tom Duckering's answer does a good job outlining this, but to gloss it again, prayer is communication with God which involves both talking to God and listening to him. As our primary form of communication with God, it ...


16

Even if we can't pray away someone else's free will or convince God to bend the rules regarding the requirements of salvation, there can still be merit in praying on behalf of others with a slightly different attitude. Perhaps "let them have experiences that will lead them to the truth," or "let their hearts be softened, that they may give heed to the Holy ...


15

The Hail Mary is simply a prayer. It happens to be recited 53 times during the course of praying the rosary. It is said in place of the psalms for the illiterate. Since there are 150 or so psalms and traditionally the Rosary is split up into 15 decades to mediate on different events in the lives or Jesus and Mary, each decade consists of 10 Hail Mary ...


15

According to Jesus, This, then, is how you should pray: "Our Father... Jesus is clear that we pray to the father. That said, I am personally convinced that if we get God's name wrong he still hears us. If my son occasionally calls me "mum" when he asks for my help I still help him (and it makes me smile, to be honest). I don't think a heavenly father ...


15

The closest would be the model prayer given in Matthew chapter 6 as part of the Sermon on the Mount. This prayer is understood by most to be an example, or model, rather than something to be repeated verbatim. So, no, there are no specific mandatory prayers given in scripture, other than that we are to pray — and to pray without ceasing. Mandatory ...


14

Actually, the Hail Mary comes from Luke 1:39-45 (NIV). This is when Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth when both are pregnant. You will notice that half of the prayer comes from here (the first half). The second half adds on a supplication ("pray for us sinners") and is further development of the prayer as opposed to direct Biblical reference


14

Both Genesis 6:5 and 1 Chronicles 28:9 (and myriad other passages) indicate God can understand our thoughts. So, can God "hear" our silent prayers? Of course! Is it better to pray out loud than to pray silently? Since there seem to be no instances in the Bible of a recorded silent prayer (other than in the Epistles where Paul writes how he prays for ...


13

In history, a name has far more significance than in modern western culture, where it has been relegated to simple a "handle" by which you identify someone. It used to be significant of the person, and their character. The idea of lifting someone's name is to exalt that person. So when we lift the name of Jesus, we are exalting him. Consider also, the ...


12

The sinners prayer has no place in Christ's Gospel Why did Christ die? Have you thought about that? If Christ was somebody that everybody loved, why was the entire town chanting that He be killed? Have you thought about that? John 15:25 NKJV But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without a ...


12

Nehemiah 2:4 (NWT) In turn the king said to me: “What is this that you are seeking to secure?” At once I prayed to the God of the heavens. It is not expected that Nehemiah prayed out loud to God in front of king Artaxerxes, but he probably made silent prayer.


12

Don't get hung up on words; prayer should come from the heart. I believe that prayer needs to originate from the heart. Because of that, we shouldn't get hung up on words. I believe that rote prayers and repeated prayers can be just as effective and just as "heard by God" as prayers that are unscripted. It's about the state of your heart whether God ...


12

The Book of Esther's legitimacy as part of the canon of Christian scripture has been the subject of debate because there is no direct reference to God. The compilation of the original Bible is largely obscured in history (e.g. the Song of Solomon has been likewise disputed because of its romantic content), but Esther may have been included because of its ...


11

No, you don't have to put you hands together. People usually put their hands together either as a sign of reverence or to help focus and get into a correct spiritual posture fir prayer or both. You can pray in just about any manner you see fit, though. I'll often pray while driving (with my eyes open). I often see people praying with their hands raised. ...


11

Praying TO something is different than praying FOR something, so I don't think there is a good way to make a connection to the golden calf issue. That being said, that seems like a very selfish prayer to make. It is quite possible that such a prayer shows that that money and success (individual or corporate) has become an idol. The example prayer we have to ...


11

I find it curious that no one mentions the one instance where a prayer is explicitly mentioned as being silent and it was answered. 1 Samuel 1:9-19 (NLT)  9 Once after a sacrificial meal at Shiloh, Hannah got up and went to pray. Eli the priest was sitting at his customary place beside the entrance of the Tabernacle. 10 Hannah was in deep anguish, ...


11

This can be answered by answering a more general question: what does "in someone's (anyone's) name" mean? It means to act by proxy, on the authority of something or someone greater than yourself. It's a concept that our culture has kind of lost, though it still exists as a storytelling trope. When a medieval herald reads a proclamation "in the name of the ...


11

Indeed, Jesus did prayer to his Father, as His Father. John 17 “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. ...


10

God speaks through multiple ways. This includes everything from audible voices to suggestions from friends and family. However, by far, the most common way that God speaks to us is through His Bible. In fact, if we think that we're hearing God in any other way, we need to go to the Bible and verify that what we think he's saying actually lines up with ...


10

Please excuse me for a large answer, in my opinion this question is really hard to answer in several words. Althought there are many references to "meditation" in Bible, however, word "meditation" should be used very carefully here, to be not confused with meditation practice in eastern religions, such as Buddhism or Hinduism. We Christians should listen ...


10

Catholics pray for the entire communion of saints to intercede on their behalf. It's more than just the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church (what most people refer to as Roman Catholic) it's the entire Church in communion with the pope, as well as the Eastern Orthodox Church who prays fervently to the saint. According to Catholic doctrine Angels are also ...


10

Since demongolem, a_hardin, and Peter Turner did a good job explaining what a Hail Mary is, I won't try and answer that question. Instead, I can give you my understanding of the use of repetitive prayer. This answer is based on a blog post I found quite informative. One reason for repetitive prayer is it is meditative. It can be used to clear the mind of ...


10

As has been pointed out, you can pray to the Father as Jesus did and taught. However, there is a Biblical precedent for praying to Jesus: While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep. Acts 7:59-60 ...


10

First, we should recognize that our requests were not in accordance with His will: 1 John 5:14-15 (NASB) 14 This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him. That's not to ...


10

Let's look at the immediate context: “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. ...


9

I think the Bible can answer this for us. I'm racking my brain for a verse, but here is John 14:6 to start: 6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. Why pray to someone who is not empowered to save you? God is the one who created you, and His Son Jesus is the one who died on the cross to ...


9

Meditation is now used for a lot of non-religious contexts, such as meditation for relaxation. However, when referring specifically to Christians meditating, one tip I have received is this: First read a passage of Scripture, once through, to get the general view of what the piece of Scripture is saying. Second, read it through a second time, this time, ...



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