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Home > Health Library > Prayer
Prayer is part of the world's oldest faith traditions and cultures. For many people around the world, prayer has a place in their daily lives. It is how they connect with God, a higher power, inner strength, or spiritual energy.
Prayer can be a very personal experience. It can be silent, as in meditation, or spoken aloud. Or it may involve chanting or singing. While prayer is often a part of formal religious services, you can pray anywhere—alone or with others.
People value prayer for different reasons. Some people say that prayer helps them feel connected to an inner sense of meaning or purpose and that it strengthens their belief in a higher being.
You can use prayer for anything that is important to you. Common reasons for using prayer include:
Science doesn't prove whether prayer helps to cure serious health problems. It's not easy for experts to research how prayer affects physical or mental health. Even experts in the field of spirituality in health care have a hard time agreeing on how to define words like prayer.
But you may still find that prayer has a positive effect on your health. For example, it may make you feel more calm and less stressed. And that can help you feel healthier overall.
To learn more, see the topic Spirituality and Your Health.
Other Works Consulted
Freeman L (2009). Spirituality and healing. In L Freeman, ed., Mosby's Complementary and Alternative Medicine: A Research-Based Approach, 3rd ed., pp. 485–518. St. Louis: Mosby Elsevier.
Pizzorno L (2013). Spirituality and healing. In JE Pizzorno, MT Murray, eds., Textbook of Natural Medicine, 4th ed., pp. 404–418. St. Louis: Mosby.
Current as of: April 7, 2019
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Adam Husney MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Current as of:
April 7, 2019
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
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