How to Pray

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    Think on what you will pray about. Before you begin, think about what you will pray about. What are the things in your life that trouble you? What are you thankful for? How do you want to bring God into your life? What questions do you have? These are things which you may want to pray on. Knowing what to say ahead of time will make you feel more clear and comfortable when you go to pray.
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    Consult with your religious adviser or a trusted friend. After you’ve thought about some of the things you’d like to talk to God about, consult with your priest, imam, rabbi, or a friend or family member whom you trust. Ask them what they think God might be able to help you with and what they think about your concerns and questions. They may open your eyes to questions and answers which you had never thought of.
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    Find a good place to pray. Once you are ready to pray, you will need to find an appropriate place and time to pray to God. This should be a quiet place where you can devote a good amount of time and concentration to your conversation with God, to show him your devotion.

    • However, if you feel the need to pray quickly and in a less than ideal situation, go right ahead. You do not need to be anywhere special for God to hear you. He will understand your distress and cares only that you love him in your heart and try to follow him.
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    Get any necessary or additional items. You may want to have certain items when you pray, such as candles, a bible, the remains of a loved one, or other items which are significant to you. Have these available and respectfully placed.
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    Plan to pray alone or with others. You will want to decide if you feel it is better to pray on your own or with others. Different faiths stress different methods but you should not feel constrained by the normal conventions of your denomination. Do what you feel is right in your heart, whether that means singing your prayers in a church full of people or facing Qibla alone in a corner.
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Making a Basic Prayer for Christians

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    Show respect. Show respect by humbling yourself before God. Dress plainly (if you can), do not show off your prayer pridefully to those nearby, and pray on your knees with head bowed (if you can).
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    Read from the Bible. You may want to begin by reading a passage from the Bible which has significance and meaning to you. This will open your heart to His word and show him your devotion.
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    Thank God. Thank God for all of his blessings. Thank him for the things that make you happy, that make your life better, or that make the world a better place. Understand that these blessings are God showing his love for his people and should be celebrated and appreciated.
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    Ask forgiveness. Ask God’s forgiveness for the mistakes that you make. Keep your heart open and remember that we all make mistakes: nobody is perfect. Though you may have trouble admitting it or thinking of a mistake you have made, you will find some way that you can be better. Be sincere and you will know in your heart if God forgives you.
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    Ask for guidance. Ask God’s guidance. He isn’t a genie or some magical granter of wishes…He is merely there to guide you on the path you are meant to follow. Ask him to lead you and show you the right decisions and the ways to better yourself as a person, as well as the world and people around you.
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    Pray for others. Pray for those who you feel need prayers. You can pray for your family, for your friends, or for strangers. Ask God to show them His love and to also help them find their way when they are lost. Do not cast judgement on them or their problems: God is the only Judge and He will do what is right.

    • Remember that people are not the Devil or demons; they are souls, just as you are, and can be led by God. Don’t ask for them to be struck down, ask for them to realize their mistakes and seek forgiveness just as you do.
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    Close your prayer. Close your prayer in whatever way you feel is appropriate. The most common way is to say ‘Amen’.

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Making a Basic Prayer for Jews

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    Try to pray in Hebrew. Most denominations believe that praying in Hebrew is better, though your god will understand you in whatever tongue you speak. Do your best and He will understand.
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    Try to pray with others. Jews prefer to pray more often and in groups, other than Christian prayer which is more individually focused. Pray with others if you can. This can be at temple, with your family at home, or while you are out with your friends.
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    Know each of the prayers for the different rituals. Instead of individually stated prayers said each day, Jews prefer to say blessings for different times of day, events, and times of year. You will want to learn the different prayers and when they should be spoken, as well as the Holy Days which require special prayers.
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    Pray individually if you prefer. If the normal ways of praying are not for you and you feel that you communicate with your god better on your own and in your own way, that is okay. You can pray in the Christian method above and your god will understand. He cares more about your devotion and obedience.

Making a Basic Prayer for Muslims

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    Pray at the right times. Muslims pray at specific times of day and you will need to learn and observe these times. You can look them up, ask your imam, or get a handy app or program for your mobile device or computer.
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    Orient yourself. You will need to face Mecca when you pray. This is an important part of prayer for Muslims. You will need to look up what the proper direction is for the area in which you live. Alternatively, you can get an app or program for your phone or computer which will act as a compass and point you in the right direction no matter where you are.
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    Sit, stand, and motion correctly. There are specific ways that Muslims are supposed to sit, stand, bow, and move their hands and bodies during prayer. These can be rather complicated and you may need to do some research. You can also learn by watching fellow Muslims, either out and about or at your local mosque.
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    Open your prayer. Begin your prayer in the proper way. Muslim prayer is much more specific and rigid than Christian prayer. The standard opening is to call “Allahu Akbar” and then recite the Isteftah Dua (optional) and Surah Al-Fatiha.
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    Recite the Surahs. Recite the Surahs appropriate to the time of day or that are being recited by your fellows nearby. If you are alone, you can recite whatever Surahs you believe are appropriate.
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    Perform the appropriate number of rakats. The rakats, or cycles of prayer, are standardized and a different number of cycles is prescribed for each time of day. Know what is the appropriate number and try to perform at least that many.
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    Close your prayer. End your prayers in the normal way by turning your head to the right and saying, “As Salam Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu’.” The angel who records your good deeds is to this side. Then, turn your head to the left and say, “As Salam Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu’.” The angel who records your wrongful deeds is to this side. Now your prayers are over.

After You Pray

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    Look for signs that God has heard you. When you are done praying, as you progress through your day and further on, look for signs that God has heard your prayers. Keep your heart open and look for ways in which he seeks to lead you on the appropriate path. You will know in your heart what is right.
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    Do right by Him and keep your promises. If you promised God that you would improve yourself or work harder for something, you should keep your promise. Work as hard as you can, honestly and with humility, and God will understand and be pleased.
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    Pray regularly. Don’t just pray when you have a really big problem. God is not your band-aid. Pray all the time and show Him the respect that He deserves. Get in the habit and with time you will be great at praying.
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    Help and pray with others. As you pray more, you will want to pray with others and bring others to understand how much they can gain from prayer. Bring them to God by helping them, honestly, humbly, and without judgement, and they too may become inspired to come to know Him as you have.

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