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prayer1

[prair] /prɛər/
noun
1.
a devout petition to God or an object of worship.
2.
a spiritual communion with God or an object of worship, as in supplication, thanksgiving, adoration, or confession.
3.
the act or practice of praying to God or an object of worship.
4.
a formula or sequence of words used in or appointed for praying:
the Lord's Prayer.
5.
prayers, a religious observance, either public or private, consisting wholly or mainly of prayer.
6.
that which is prayed for.
7.
a petition; entreaty.
8.
the section of a bill in equity, or of a petition, that sets forth the complaint or the action desired.
9.
a negligible hope or chance:
Do you think he has a prayer of getting that job?
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English preiere < Old French < Medieval Latin precāria, noun use of feminine of precārius obtained by entreaty, equivalent to prec- (stem of prex) prayer + -ārius -ary; cf. precarious
Related forms
prayerless, adjective
prayerlessly, adverb
prayerlessness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for prayerlessness

prayer1

/prɛə/
noun
1.
  1. a personal communication or petition addressed to a deity, esp in the form of supplication, adoration, praise, contrition, or thanksgiving
  2. any other form of spiritual communion with a deity
2.
a similar personal communication that does not involve adoration, addressed to beings venerated as being closely associated with a deity, such as angels or saints
3.
the practice of praying: prayer is our solution to human problems
4.
(often pl) a form of devotion, either public or private, spent mainly or wholly praying: morning prayers
5.
(capital when part of a recognized name) a form of words used in praying: the Lord's Prayer
6.
an object or benefit prayed for
7.
an earnest request, petition, or entreaty
8.
(law) a request contained in a petition to a court for the relief sought by the petitioner
9.
(slang) a chance or hope: she doesn't have a prayer of getting married
Derived Forms
prayerless, adjective
Word Origin
C13 preiere, from Old French, from Medieval Latin precāria, from Latin precārius obtained by begging, from prex prayer

prayer2

/ˈpreɪə/
noun
1.
a person who prays
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for prayerlessness

prayer

n.

c.1300, from Old French prier "prayer, petition, request" (12c., Modern French prière), from Medieval Latin precaria "petition, prayer," noun use of Latin adjective precaria, fem. of precarius "obtained by prayer, given as a favor," from precari "to ask, beg, pray" (see pray). Related: Prayers.

Prayer-book attested from 1590s; prayer-meeting from 1780. To not have a prayer "have no chance" is from 1941.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for prayerlessness

prayer

Related Terms

have a prayer


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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prayerlessness in the Bible

is converse with God; the intercourse of the soul with God, not in contemplation or meditation, but in direct address to him. Prayer may be oral or mental, occasional or constant, ejaculatory or formal. It is a "beseeching the Lord" (Ex. 32:11); "pouring out the soul before the Lord" (1 Sam. 1:15); "praying and crying to heaven" (2 Chr. 32:20); "seeking unto God and making supplication" (Job 8:5); "drawing near to God" (Ps. 73:28); "bowing the knees" (Eph. 3:14). Prayer presupposes a belief in the personality of God, his ability and willingness to hold intercourse with us, his personal control of all things and of all his creatures and all their actions. Acceptable prayer must be sincere (Heb. 10:22), offered with reverence and godly fear, with a humble sense of our own insignificance as creatures and of our own unworthiness as sinners, with earnest importunity, and with unhesitating submission to the divine will. Prayer must also be offered in the faith that God is, and is the hearer and answerer of prayer, and that he will fulfil his word, "Ask, and ye shall receive" (Matt. 7:7, 8; 21:22; Mark 11:24; John 14:13, 14), and in the name of Christ (16:23, 24; 15:16; Eph. 2:18; 5:20; Col. 3:17; 1 Pet. 2:5). Prayer is of different kinds, secret (Matt. 6:6); social, as family prayers, and in social worship; and public, in the service of the sanctuary. Intercessory prayer is enjoined (Num. 6:23; Job 42:8; Isa. 62:6; Ps. 122:6; 1 Tim. 2:1; James 5:14), and there are many instances on record of answers having been given to such prayers, e.g., of Abraham (Gen. 17:18, 20; 18:23-32; 20:7, 17, 18), of Moses for Pharaoh (Ex. 8:12, 13, 30, 31; Ex. 9:33), for the Israelites (Ex. 17:11, 13; 32:11-14, 31-34; Num. 21:7, 8; Deut. 9:18, 19, 25), for Miriam (Num. 12:13), for Aaron (Deut. 9:20), of Samuel (1 Sam. 7:5-12), of Solomon (1 Kings 8; 2 Chr. 6), Elijah (1 Kings 17:20-23), Elisha (2 Kings 4:33-36), Isaiah (2 Kings 19), Jeremiah (42:2-10), Peter (Acts 9:40), the church (12:5-12), Paul (28:8). No rules are anywhere in Scripture laid down for the manner of prayer or the attitude to be assumed by the suppliant. There is mention made of kneeling in prayer (1 Kings 8:54; 2 Chr. 6:13; Ps. 95:6; Isa. 45:23; Luke 22:41; Acts 7:60; 9:40; Eph. 3:14, etc.); of bowing and falling prostrate (Gen. 24:26, 52; Ex. 4:31; 12:27; Matt. 26:39; Mark 14:35, etc.); of spreading out the hands (1 Kings 8:22, 38, 54; Ps. 28:2; 63:4; 88:9; 1 Tim. 2:8, etc.); and of standing (1 Sam. 1:26; 1 Kings 8:14, 55; 2 Chr. 20:9; Mark 11:25; Luke 18:11, 13). If we except the "Lord's Prayer" (Matt. 6:9-13), which is, however, rather a model or pattern of prayer than a set prayer to be offered up, we have no special form of prayer for general use given us in Scripture. Prayer is frequently enjoined in Scripture (Ex. 22:23, 27; 1 Kings 3:5; 2 Chr. 7:14; Ps. 37:4; Isa. 55:6; Joel 2:32; Ezek. 36:37, etc.), and we have very many testimonies that it has been answered (Ps. 3:4; 4:1; 6:8; 18:6; 28:6; 30:2; 34:4; 118:5; James 5:16-18, etc.). "Abraham's servant prayed to God, and God directed him to the person who should be wife to his master's son and heir (Gen. 24:10-20). "Jacob prayed to God, and God inclined the heart of his irritated brother, so that they met in peace and friendship (Gen. 32:24-30; 33:1-4). "Samson prayed to God, and God showed him a well where he quenched his burning thirst, and so lived to judge Israel (Judg. 15:18-20). "David prayed, and God defeated the counsel of Ahithophel (2 Sam. 15:31; 16:20-23; 17:14-23). "Daniel prayed, and God enabled him both to tell Nebuchadnezzar his dream and to give the interpretation of it (Dan. 2: 16-23). "Nehemiah prayed, and God inclined the heart of the king of Persia to grant him leave of absence to visit and rebuild Jerusalem (Neh. 1:11; 2:1-6). "Esther and Mordecai prayed, and God defeated the purpose of Haman, and saved the Jews from destruction (Esther 4:15-17; 6:7, 8). "The believers in Jerusalem prayed, and God opened the prison doors and set Peter at liberty, when Herod had resolved upon his death (Acts 12:1-12). "Paul prayed that the thorn in the flesh might be removed, and his prayer brought a large increase of spiritual strength, while the thorn perhaps remained (2 Cor. 12:7-10). "Prayer is like the dove that Noah sent forth, which blessed him not only when it returned with an olive-leaf in its mouth, but when it never returned at all.", Robinson's Job.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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