All the major world religions use prayer as a ritual or spiritual method to experience Divine.
Power of Prayer from Around the World
A Prayer is the soul’s expression of one who seeks to get closer to God. A Prayer could be with or without words.
Praying we feel God's presence, we soak within God’s love, or we merge with One expanding within God’s consciousness.
Prayers from around the World
Meditation is amongst oldest forms of Christian praying. Within Christian traditional terminology we talk about: ‘contemplation’, ‘heart prayer’, or ‘love prayer’ that help us spiritually develop in the image of God, or unite with God and God’s Love.
In Hinduism, prayer and prayer rituals are in every temple and they are worshiping Brahma, Supreme God, and his many manifestations: Shiva, Vishnu, Rama and Krishna.
Chanting mantras is chanting of different names of Gods. While chanting is singing of mantras, Hindus also practice deep meditation.
The Gayatri mantra is Hinduism's most representative prayer. Hindus recite it on a daily basis. It is believed that his mantra is blossoming with spiritual meanings.
Hindus and Buddhist believe that Aum is the universal, divine sound. It is analogous to the concept of the ‘word of God’. It is known as the root mantra.
OM Mani Padme Hum is also known in Tibet as Mantra for Achieving Buddhahood.
Bhagavad Gita is a Hindu scripture that contains a conversation between prince Arjuna and Lord Krishna on a variety of theological and philosophical issues.
Prayers in Judaism
Jews pray three times a day: Shacharit, Mincha, and Arvit,
The most important Jewish prayers are the Shema Yisrael ("Hear O Israel") and the Amidah ("the standing prayer").
Kabbalah and Prayers: Esoteric Jewish Mystical Practices
Kabbalah is an esoteric Jewish mystical practice. Prayer is very important within Kabbalah’s teaching and the wording of prayers is very precise. Prayers are used within rituals to invoke particular angels, or type of energy, to aid a process affecting the very fabric of materialisation. For Kabbalists, every prayer, every word, and every letter has a precise meaning and a precise effect. In fact, Kabbalah is the basis of various magic rituals appearing in many different traditions all over the world. Kabbalah explains in details with its mystical and magical language the way God relates to matter, to Earth, and us human beings. Prayers are used to affect these mystical forces of creation to achieve the desired outcome.
Muslims pray a prayer called Salah, facing Mecca, five times a day.
The prayer consists of standing, and praying to God repeating: Allàh o àqbàr God is great, and reciting the first chapter of the Quran. Within the prayer, Muslims will prostrate honouring God and its greatness. The prayer ends with the following words: ‘Peace and blessings be upon you’.
Read the opening words of Quran within the prayer Prayers to God: The Fatiha
Buddhism and Prayers
Buddha claims that we all possess the greatest capacity and spiritual potential to liberate ourselves.
Within Buddhism, prayer is seen as a powerful spiritual practice that enhances meditation.
A common prayer is also ‘May the merit of my practice, adorn Buddhas' Pure Lands, requite the fourfold kindness from above, and relieve the suffering of the three life-journeys below. Universally wishing sentient beings, Friends, foes, and karmic creditors, all to activate the bodhi mind, and all to be reborn in the Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss.’ 願以此功德 莊嚴佛淨土 上報四重恩 下濟三途苦 普願諸眾生 冤親諸債主 悉發菩提心 同生極樂國
The Refuge Prayer
Buddham saranam gacchami
Dhammam saranam gacchami
Sangham saranam gacchami
I go to the Buddha for refuge.
I go to the Dhamma for refuge.
I go to the Sangha for refuge.
Within Tibetan Buddhism prayer is used to invoke various deities: the priest may pray to a deity for protection or assistance, or may invoke the deity, or imagine to become the deity.
In Japan, Shinto prayers are frequently used to ask favours of the kami: divinity or supreme being. A Shinto shrine is used to house, ‘enshrine’, a Shinto kami. The most common shintai are jewels or sculptures of kami but they are also mountains, trees and waterfalls. To pray to kami, the wish is written on a small wooden tablet, called an ema, and left hanging at the shrine. Many shrines are associated with particular favours, such as happiness in marriage.
Taoism and Prayers
Using Light for Prayer as Symbol of Divine
At the heart of Taoism is bringing harmony into various levels of human existence: into the world of nature, into the society, or bringing peace and prosperity to the village, or to the inner world of an individual.
Taoist rituals involve purification, meditation and offerings to various deities. The rituals involve chanting, playing instruments, dancing, meditation and reciting prayer texts.
Temple rituals are used to regulate chi and balance the flow of yin and yang both for individuals and for the community.
Taoists view the body as a miniature of the universe filled with the Tao, and chi or qi as the cosmic vital energy that runs through all.
Within Taoism the meditation is used to enhance this vital energy: chi. For Taoists, meditation is not only a mystical experience but it has very tangible benefits, it is associated with longevity, health, and reaching spiritual immortality.
Theosophy and Prayers
The Great Invocation is a result of the collaboration of Alice Bailey and Djwhal Khul, a Tibetan Master of the Wisdom, whereby seven very ancient prayers were translated into English. This powerful prayer calls upon Light, Love and Will of God to stream forth onto Earth.'
'Invocation, prayer or aspiration, meditation - it matters not what word you use - by means of these three methods spiritual energies are tapped and brought into activity. By clear thinking, directed thought and mental perception, they can be made objects of human desire. Ideas are simply channels for new and desired divine energies... Ideas telepathically become ideals which is another phrasing of the old law, "energy follows thought."'
Alice Bailey Quote about The Great Invocation
The Great Invocation is threefold: it calls for Light, calls for more Love in the world, and calls for the Will of God to be expressed more fully upon Earth.