Prayers serve as a mean of communication with God. Many religions have different interpretations of the meaning of prayer and the way they practice it. Prayers are mainly meant to seek connections with God (O’Mathuna, 17). Most people pray so as to be in touch with their supreme being that they believe in. Individuals pray so as to overcome the difficulties that they may be facing in their lives. Christians demonstrate many ways to offer prayer to God. Hindus on the other hand offer prayers to their God in a different way.
Prayer has a role that it plays in the life of a Christian and everyone who practices it. Prayers are not only for church goers or pastors but for everyone. This implies that there is a crucial purpose of prayer in the life of human beings who believe in the existence of a supreme being (O’Mathuna, 18). In Christianity, there are a variety of prayers that Christians make to their supreme being who is God. The first type of prayers made by Christians is individual prayers where each Christian makes a personal prayer to God (Evans, 2010). A Christians may prefer praying alone in a closed quiet room.
It is not really a must for one to pray while shouting, but a personal prayer can be made silently or even in the mind, as long as the person praying knows he or she is communicating with his or her God. The function of this personal prayer is for the person to ask God for forgiveness in all they have engaged themselves in that they know is not right. Personal prayers can also be used to ask for God’s blessings (Girl, 2010). Another type of prayer that Christians are known to make is the public prayer. Christians make public prayers in gatherings such as churches to communicate with God.
Public prayers are animated by one person who can be a pastor or a vicar who has the knowledge of praying. In the Christians history, there was someone who could give offerings and pray on behalf of all others. For instance in public gatherings such as during funerals, weddings and even at schools, a prayer was necessary to bless the beginning of an event or the ending of an event. Such events were mostly religious and could be led by one person such as a pastor (Girl, 2010). There was a belief that making a prayer before the commencement of a gathering could be of much blessings to the entire gathering.
These practices still exist in the contemporary Christians’ lives. Meditative prayer is another type of prayer that Christians make. A meditation prayer is that prayer whereby an individual takes time to think deeply about God. A Christian may organize time in his or her schedule in which he or she will read the bible in silence. He will then take some time to think about God and his life in general. The main purpose of this type of prayer is to create deep understanding of God. This is done through imaginations and deep thinking about God. It helps Christians grow closer to God (Harsha, 2010). There is the prayer of supplication.
This is a prayer offered by Christians to request God for something they really would wish to be done. Christians are often advised to take time and offer prayers of supplication to God. Christians making supplication prayers may chose to fast from eating foods or engaging in other leisure activities during the fast period. Christians humble themselves before God as ask Him for something they desperately lack in the society (Vanderwell & Malefyt, 2010) . Traditionally, most Christian communities could gather and offer prayers of supplication to God in times of drought and ask God to send rain.
Natural disasters such as earthquake, drowning, epidemics, famine and war could make Christians pray to God fervently for His intervention. When these disasters happened, Christians could further declare a fasting period, where no member was allowed to take any food for some stipulated time. After fasting and offering supplication prayers, God could then hear their cries and grant them their needs. Hindus also fast when faced with problems. They pray to their gods and their prayers are answered. Mahatma Gandhi is an example of a man who always fasted when things were not right.
He fasted for India’s independence and also for the end of apartheid in South Africa when he was working there (Harsha, 2010). Praying is also an essential part of the Hindus culture. The Hindus worship through offering a number of prayers but the most common one is the chanting of mantras. Hindus also make prayers known as yoga as away of devotional service to their God. There are other five forms of God that the Hindus worship (Harsha, 2010). The Hindus believe in Shiva, Vishnu, Rama, Krishna and Vishnu’s avatars. The Hindus practice the Bhakti Yoga as a prayer which they do repetitively.
This is basically the way of enlightenment that comes upon the Hindus through praying to God. This enlightenment can be envisioned in many forms. Hindus are known to pray through puja, which implies worship. Puja is done at shrines belonging to families or even at the temples (Harsha, 2010). Holding prayers is an essential part in the Hinduism culture (Harsha, 2010). The belief in Krishna encourages the Hindus to make prayers for enlightenment. Hindus are advised to dwell on maintain a close relationship with God in all ways through prayers.
Repetition of prayer through mantras and use of prayer beads of the Hindu are also strong elements of the Hindus prayer culture. The tradition of the Hindu devotionalist movement of Bharki can be traced back in the middle ages in South India. It is clear that by the late Middle Ages the Bhakti movement spread all over the subcontinent, leading to other deities like Sant Mat and Gaudiya Vaishnavism. Meditations are mainly done through the Hindu Yoga which is known to help the Hindus to focus on their God and create an understanding (Harsha, 2010).
In both the Christians and the Hindus way of prayers, there are a lot of roles the prayers do in both religions. Most Christians pray whenever they need something or some help from God. But real Christians pray every time, not only because of need, but also to thank God and intercede for others (Princess Margaret Hospital, 2004). Both the Hindu and Christians pray to thank God for all the good things God has done them in their lives. The Christians thank God for the gift of life, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the fruits of the Holy Spirit and many more things.
Through praise and thanks giving Christians are able to move closer to God and enjoy the smooth relationship that has almost no challenge. Hindus believe that in chanting to their gods. All satanic objects are removed from their ways through prayer (Harsha, 2010). Prayer helps Christians to obtain strength and wisdom from God so as they can have the capacity to handle their enemies. In the life of a Christian there are many enemies that are up to no good in the spiritual life of the Christian. They try to make life difficult for them through one way or another.
Enemies could want to cause physical harm to Christians or even rob them off their wealth. With prayer God protects the Christians from these enemies. Similarly to the Hindus, their devotional Bharki chants help them protect their residents with angels thus preventing them from evil thoughts of their enemies (Harsha, 2010). Prayer has helped a lot and with strength Both the Hindu and the Christian believers can pray more to their God. Prayer protects in all ways (O’Mathuna, 18). Prayer protects Christians from temptations. Christians are faced with many temptations in their daily lives.
Through prayer Christians have been able to overcome temptations of various types. They believe just as Satan tempted Jesus Christ, he keeps tempting them in their daily lives. Temptations can be of many types, it may not come from Satan directly but even the people the Christians know very well of. It can be a temptation to commit a sin, a temptation to do what is wrong, a temptation to steal, drink alcohol, or any other temptations. As Jesus overcame his temptations through prayers, Christians have realized that through prayer they are capable to overcome temptations in their lives (O’Mathuna, 19).
In Hinduism, prayers are made to eradicate sufferings from the people and on the other side; prayers are made to seek help from God. In the Hindu religion, Karma is preached. Karma is the traditional belief of someone reaping whatever he or she had sown. They took it that all actions done by individuals, whether good or bad had their consequences. However, the great masters in Hinduism strongly support that karma does not propel punishments to people, but they can be executed by the will of God. Prayers come in here to ask God to help them overcome their trouble (O’Mathuna, 20).
Christians on the other hand believe that prayer gives them supernatural powers to overcome demonic forces that they come in conflict with in their daily lives (Birch, 2009). Praying and fasting makes Christians more close to God and any weapon set against them will always. Prayer encourages Christians and they find boldness in them that helps them to feel safe in all that they do (Princess Margaret Hospital, 2004). Prayer is believed to protect families from physical harm. Prayer protects Christians and blesses them and thus keeping both the worldly and heavenly authorities in order.
Blessings can be manifested in many ways, God can bless his people through giving them what they are lacking, or even reward them in one way or another. It is God’s will for Christians to pray, and prayer helps Christians to find the will of God, this implies that those who pray have the capacity to know what God wants to be done. With prayer, Christians believe that they can change their destinations and even restore souls that are lost (Birch, 2009). In conclusion, both the Hindus and the Christians consider prayers as essentials of life.
Despite the fact that the Hindus pray in a different way, both the Christian and Hindu prayers always reach the intended destination which is the supreme beings in both cases. God is the main figure in both prayers and the Christians and the Hindus pray to Him. Prayer can be done in different ways in the two religions. There are also many reasons as to why people pray. Prayer changes the life of a Christian and any other believer. It is advised, that if it costs nothing, one should say a prayer at least once a day. Work cited Birch, John. (2009).
Christian prayer and liturgy resources. FaithAndWorship. com. Retrieved May 15th, 2010 from: http://www. faithandworship. com/ Evans, Tony. (2010). Communicating with God through prayer. BCNN1. com. Retrieved May 15, 2010 from: http://blackchristiannews. com/bloggers/2009/10/communicating-with-god-through- prayer-by-dr-tony-evans. html Girl, Georgie. (2010). Prayer: The art of communicating to God. Hubpages. com. Retrieved May 15, 2010 from: http://hubpages. com/hub/Praying-is-the-Art-of-Communication-to-God Harsha, Sri. (2010). The role of prayer in Hinduism. Helium. com.
Retrieved May 15, 2010 from: http://www. helium. com/knowledge/184008-the-role-of-prayer-in-hinduism O’Mathuna, Donal. P. “Prayer research: what are we measuring? ” Journal of Christian Nursing. 16 (1999): 17-21 Princess Margaret Hospital. (2004). Role of prayer. Retrieved May 15, 2010 from: http://www. caringtotheend. ca/body. php? id=436 Vanderwell, Horward and Malefyt, Norma de Waal. (2010). The role of prayer in public worship: the voice of the people. Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. Retrieved May 15th 2010. From: http://www. calvin. edu/worship/planning/8_22_04. phpSample Essay of PaperDon.com