What Good Is Prayer, Really?

What good is prayer? Does it have place in our lives today? What do we really mean by prayer? These are interesting questions.

Of course prayer is not the province solely of Christians, though I suspect that that’s they way many of them see it. But Muslims pray, just as devoutly. Many other religions have either prayers or the equivalent of prayer.

In fact prayer or its recognizable equivalent has a cherished place in all societies on the globe and at almost all times in history. Prayer was around long before the Church.

It is a universal human yearning to reach out and be listened to by forces which are bigger, wiser, more knowing and guiding our lives. This is especially true at times of great duress. But is by no means confined to these events.

Only modern sophisticated man has talked himself out this time-honoured method of summoning up the deep moving forces of life when they are needed most.

The Essence of Prayer

Taken on the world stage, prayer-equivalent has always enjoyed huge respect and popularity. The minor drop off of prayer in the West caused by the Church’s troubles holding its flock together has little relevance to the vast majority of persons who make up the human race. Prayer is with us, alive and well. Always was and (probably) always will be.

Part of the purpose of this website is to seek new meanings for prayer; to find out what the real essence of prayer is; and isolate it from the distractions and trimmings of religious cant and hypocrisy. I believe if we can succeed in doing this, then prayer will have a renewed vigour and appeal.

This does not mean that religion is unimportant. It does mean that prayer is, and should be, independent of any particular credo or formalized structure, such as churches and temples.

Prayer fulfils a certain requirement and it is hard to see how it could be replaced, speaking as a doctor and psychologist. Continue reading