Skip to content

Religion 101: Why We Pray?


(Prayers comes in many form and sense. Picture source:

An interesting email arrived in my inbox this morning titled “Hinduism: Why and How to Pray”

I said it is interesting because after I clicked on the link and read the details, I realized that, at least for me, I been doing it the wrong way. I pray at least twice a day but prayers to me was like a routine – “say this wording at this particular time”. So, when I got the link, it was an interesting read.

Praying has been an evolution sort of for me – I started with tagging along with my parents when I was very young, not knowing what is the fuss about, then later decided to be a communist somewhere in the middle and refused to acknowledge God, woke up and decided to go to the temple on my own and in the process getting bored with all the “rules and regulations” of doing good prayers (I hate some old priest who insists on doing some rules for prayers, I like the younger ones who is very direct when it comes to prayers).

Reading back the article, I was indeed surprised to note that the author Gyan Rajhans is a pioneering scientist with the Ontario Ministry of Health, Canada. Science and religion at many times is like water and oil because one is talking about facts whilst the other is about faith. He says:-

Many of you, I’m sure, are confused about the underlying philosophy of prayer. Consequently, often your prayers are not answered. Here, I attempt to provide some insights into the success of prayers. To begin with we must understand as to why do we pray? There are basically 12 reasons for prayer

Did he say 12 reasons? Wow, that was not much – I could easily think of a million reasons for prayers.

But after I ran through the 12 reasons, I realized that prayer does not necessarily mean asking God for something like money, car, new camera, new girlfriend, new superhuman powers or new supercomputer for home. It never was and I guess in the current age, we may have forgotten why we pray in the first place. We forgot to thank God for things that he has provided us with. I don’t recall the time when I thanked God for the house, car, family and great job that I have now (and to think about it, it is a good accomplishment compared to some who are still struggling out there).

So, running over the reasons why we pray, I clicked on the link on how we should pray. Gyan Rajhans came up with 7 simple ways to have effective and successful prayers. This opened my eyes to how I am going to pray the next time. He said this (in summary):-

1. When you pray just talk to God as a little boy would to a father or mother whom he loves and with whom he feels in harmony. Tell Him everything that is on your mind and in your heart (I have been doing that for a long time now – remember the movie Bruce Almighty? I often think God as humorous as Morgan Freeman was in the movie).

2. Talk to God in simple everyday speech. He understands every language. (This is a big relief because I been having some trouble remembering the mantras that I picked up from my buddy priest although my buddy did mentioned that God knows English)

3. Tell God what you want. You might as well be factual. You want something. Tell Him about it. Tell Him you would like to have it if He thinks it is good for you. But also say and mean it that you will leave it to Him to decide and you will accept His decision as best for you. (I guess this is where I often beg for expensive Christmas gifts)

4. Practice praying as many times during the day as possible. (Certainly it is not me here – I seem to have a fixed time for prayers but I guess I cam work on this whilst I am on the road – prayers is much healthier than cursing, I am sure)

5. It is not always necessary to say words when you pray. (Prayers is getting easy to now)

6. Don’t always pray for yourself. (I should include the prayers for my fellow Malaysians as well – they have suffered enough under BN’s rule)

7. Last but not the least whatever you do, do not make all prayers into the form of begging God for something. The prayer for thanksgiving is much more powerful. (Damn, you caught me there!)

Why and how we pray is a good inspiring read early in the morning – life seems so less complicated now.

Read Also

God is Online

Year 2012

7 thoughts on “Religion 101: Why We Pray?”

  1. bro.. just a small correction.. communism has got nothing to do with religion or praying… communism is a political and economy ideology..

    most communists are also atheists … hence it is often confused by many that communism is an ideology of not believing in superficial god..

    the idea of not believing in the existence of a superficial god is atheism..

  2. Cypro – that’s right, it is atheism but at that time (when I was in my teens), I regarded myself as a communist. Big misconception of course.

  3. wow, i didn’t know that there are so many reasons.. i use to pray because “We pray for making friendship with God.” reason. i think it was fun, till one day a priest told me “show some respect, dude!!!” 😀

  4. Communism has nothing to do with religion or praying.

    I think you will learn as you grow older that the issues you have come from within. Meanwhile try not to influence others by posting or talking about information you may not be sure about – unless you pose it as a question. Because you seem to be trying to find an answer… but you may drag someone who is “unstable” into believing communism is a great way of life – and that person may not be as smart as you…. think about it…..

  5. Rtex – Maybe I should have said communist in inverted commas…I agree it is a misconception but unfortunately it was the case at that time

    It is not a big issue and from what I have read, communism in it’s ideal practice is indeed a great way of life. Unfortunately it has not been practised so by the communist in Russia, China and other part of the world. Think about that…

  6. “Unfortunately it has not been practised so by the communist in Russia, China and other part of the world.”

    I can’t think of one example in history or present time that it has worked. The idea is great… you can have a great idea but that doesnt mean its a good idea to do it… you know…. like taking your kids pink plastic Barbie scooter down hill – because it looked like a good idea at the time…( it was a painfull stop )

    People flee the opression of communisum daily… China, Cuba…they literally throw themselves in the ocean – and would rather face the sharks than swim back to face the firing squad. I think its a bad thing to have the government in so much power. Your choices are slowly taken away. The way you eat…the government would have a say it that— because they are paying your health bills…. the activities you do… your travel…

    I like our Country…. we are free to create art, music… I would not like to live in a Country that didnt allow me to live my life in peace. I think we have decent “rules” that everyone agrees we should live by… and the rest is no ones business… Life is so short…

    I think that if you want to succeed you need to work your ass off…. and if you dont – it’s your choice… and you will get what you deserve. I understand there are circumstances where some people are at a disadvantage or mentally ill… There are many government funded agencies, non-profit companys and volunteers – DEDICATED to serving people in need.

    If you “give” everyone everything and every thing is “even-steven” then there will be no need for anyone to try anything new.. and nothing to look forward to. Unless you want to talk relegion again… then none of this matters… My relegion tells me to live my life by the agreed rules, try to live my life to a certain standard and in the short time that I am on this earth it is my responsibility to pass along these traditions. Non of which involve car-bombing a grocery store full of innocent people…no matter what I think of them or what my agenda or motive, or IDEA is…

    Keep your mind open-

  7. Rtex – I learned about Marxism when I studied law. It was an interesting subject but as you said, idea can be great but in practice…different thing. Anyway, it is really up to you how you define the rules but it should be for you and not for others. Cheers

Please Leave Your Thoughts on the Post