What does prayer mean?

Definitions for prayer
ˈpreɪ ərprayer

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word prayer.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. prayer, supplicationnoun

    the act of communicating with a deity (especially as a petition or in adoration or contrition or thanksgiving)

    "the priest sank to his knees in prayer"

  2. prayer, petition, orisonnoun

    reverent petition to a deity

  3. entreaty, prayer, appealnoun

    earnest or urgent request

    "an entreaty to stop the fighting"; "an appeal for help"; "an appeal to the public to keep calm"

  4. prayernoun

    a fixed text used in praying

  5. prayer, supplicantnoun

    someone who prays to God

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Prayernoun

    Etymology: priere, Fr.

    They did say their prayers, and address’d them
    Again to sleep. William Shakespeare, Macbeth.

    O remember, God!
    O hear her prayer for them as now for us. William Shakespeare.

    Were he as famous and as bold in war,
    As he is fam’d for mildness, peace and prayer. William Shakespeare.

    My heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. Romans x. 1.

    Sighs now breath’d
    Inutterable, which the spirit of prayer
    Inspir’d. John Milton.

    No man can always have the same spiritual pleasure in his prayers; for the greatest saints have sometimes suffered the banishment of the heart, sometimes are fervent, sometimes they feel a barrenness of devotion; for this spirit comes and goes: Jeremy Taylor, Guide to Devotion.

    Prayer among men is supposed a means to change the person to whom we pray; but prayer to God doth not change him, but fits us to receive the things prayed for. Edward Stillingfleet.


  1. Prayer

    "The Prayer is a song by English rock band Bloc Party. It was released as the lead single from their second studio album, A Weekend in the City, except in the U. S. where it is the second single. "I Still Remember" was the first song from the album to be released in North America. It was released by Wichita Recordings on 29 January 2007 and is the band's highest charting single worldwide. The lyrics deal with drug use in nightclubs and party environments. Band frontman Kele Okereke says he was inspired to write the song after hearing Busta Rhymes' song "Touch It". He also described the song as having a "crunk-like" effect. A cover version of "The Prayer" by KT Tunstall is included in Radio 1's Live Lounge – Volume 2, and on her single "If Only".


  1. prayer

    Prayer can be defined as a solemn and deliberate communication or conversation with a higher power or deity. It is a form of spiritual or religious practice where individuals express their thoughts, desires, gratitude, or seek guidance or intervention from a divine entity. Prayer often involves speaking, silently contemplating, or even meditating to connect with the divine, often accompanied by specific rituals or religious customs depending on one's faith. It serves as a means of seeking spiritual comfort, fostering a sense of connection and closeness with a higher power, and expressing one's devotion or faith.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Prayernoun

    one who prays; a supplicant

  2. Prayerverb

    the act of praying, or of asking a favor; earnest request or entreaty; hence, a petition or memorial addressed to a court or a legislative body

  3. Prayerverb

    the act of addressing supplication to a divinity, especially to the true God; the offering of adoration, confession, supplication, and thanksgiving to the Supreme Being; as, public prayer; secret prayer

  4. Prayerverb

    the form of words used in praying; a formula of supplication; an expressed petition; especially, a supplication addressed to God; as, a written or extemporaneous prayer; to repeat one's prayers


  1. Prayer

    Prayer is an invocation or act that seeks to activate a rapport with a deity, an object of worship, or a spiritual entity through deliberate communication. Prayer can be a form of religious practice, may be either individual or communal and take place in public or in private. It may involve the use of words or song. When language is used, prayer may take the form of a hymn, incantation, formal creed, or a spontaneous utterance in the praying person. There are different forms of prayer such as petitionary prayer, prayers of supplication, thanksgiving, and worship/praise. Prayer may be directed towards a deity, spirit, deceased person, or lofty idea, for the purpose of worshipping, requesting guidance, requesting assistance, confessing sins or to express one's thoughts and emotions. Thus, people pray for many reasons such as personal benefit or for the sake of others. Yoga is also a common form of prayer. Most major religions involve prayer in one way or another. Some ritualize the act of prayer, requiring a strict sequence of actions or placing a restriction on who is permitted to pray, while others teach that prayer may be practiced spontaneously by anyone at any time. Scientific studies regarding the use of prayer have mostly concentrated on its effect on the healing of sick or injured people. Meta-studies of the studies in this field have been performed showing evidence only for no effect or a potentially small effect. For instance, a 2006 meta analysis on 14 studies concluded that there is "no discernable effect" while a 2007 systemic review of intercessory prayer reported inconclusive results, noting that 7 of 17 studies had "small, but significant, effect sizes" but the review noted that the most methodologically rigorous studies failed to produce significant findings. The efficacy of petition in prayer for physical healing to a deity has been evaluated in numerous other studies, with contradictory results. There has been some criticism of the way the studies were conducted.

The Roycroft Dictionary

  1. prayer

    A supplication intended for the person who prays. Only very dull people doubt its efficacy.

Editors Contribution

  1. prayerverb

    Sokoiya art my law; Elohai Neshamah shenatata bi Tehorah. The fear of the Lord is Yahweh enduring forever.

    My prayer brings me comfort, patience and justice.

    Etymology: Telepathic Spiritual Psalm

    Submitted by Tony_Elyon on February 23, 2024  

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Prayer is ranked #64721 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Prayer surname appeared 307 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Prayer.

    84% or 258 total occurrences were Black.
    8.1% or 25 total occurrences were White.
    4.8% or 15 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    2.9% or 9 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'prayer' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #4373

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'prayer' in Written Corpus Frequency: #4732

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'prayer' in Nouns Frequency: #1354

How to pronounce prayer?

How to say prayer in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of prayer in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of prayer in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of prayer in a Sentence

  1. Michael Kwan:

    Prayer might be the answer.

  2. Barack Obama:

    We knew their pastor, Reverend Clementa Pinckney, who, along with eight others gathered in prayer and fellowship, and was murdered last night, and to say our thoughts and prayers are with them and their families and their community doesn't say enough to convey the heartache and the sadness and the anger that we feel.

  3. Mohammed Tarafdar:

    I was chained to a tree and beaten by members of the cow protection force. They forced me to recite a Hindu prayer, my religion permits me to eat and sell beef, so why should Hindus have a problem?

  4. Frank Karwacki:

    It’s so sad how they are being tortured—we need to get prayer power going. they destroyed those ancient churches and killed so many of our Catholics there.

  5. Reginald Gatsi:

    Prayer is the intangible that brings the tangible into being, the intangible that sustains the tangible, the intangible that reealigns the tangible, the intangible that is more real than the tangible .

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for prayer

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"prayer." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 29 Feb. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/prayer>.

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