Definition of prayer noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//preə(r)//
    ; NAmE NAmE//prer//
    jump to other results
  1. 1   [countable] prayer (for somebody/something) words that you say to God giving thanks or asking for help to say your prayers prayers for the sick He arrived at that very moment, as if in answer to her prayer. Their prayers were answered and the child was found safe and well. CollocationsReligionBeing religious believe in God/​Christ/​Allah/​free will/​predestination/​heaven and hell/​an afterlife/​reincarnation be/​become a believer/​an atheist/​an agnostic/​a Christian/​Muslim/​Hindu/​Buddhist, etc. convert to/​practise/ (especially US English) practice a religion/​Buddhism/​Catholicism/​Christianity/​Islam/​Judaism, etc. go to church/(North American English) temple (= the synagogue) go to the local church/​mosque/​synagogue/​gurdwara belong to a church/​a religious community join/​enter the church/​a convent/​a monastery/​a religious sect/​the clergy/​the priesthood praise/​worship/​obey/​serve/​glorify GodCelebrations and ritual attend/​hold/​conduct/​lead a service perform a ceremony/​a rite/​a ritual/​a baptism/​the Hajj/​a mitzvah carry out/​perform a sacred/​burial/​funeral/​fertility/​purification rite go on/​make a pilgrimage celebrate Christmas/​Easter/​Eid/​Ramadan/​Hanukkah/​Passover/​Diwali observe/​break the Sabbath/​a fast/​Ramadan deliver/​preach/​hear a sermon lead/​address the congregation say/​recite a prayer/​blessingReligious texts and ideas preach/​proclaim/​spread the word of God/​the Gospel/​the message of Islam study/​follow the dharma/​the teachings of Buddha read/​study/​understand/​interpret scripture/​the Bible/​the Koran/​the gospel/​the Torah be based on/​derive from divine revelation commit/​consider something heresy/​sacrilegeReligious belief and experience seek/​find/​gain enlightenment/​wisdom strengthen/​lose your faith keep/​practise/​practice/​abandon the faith save/​purify/​lose your soul obey/​follow/​keep/​break/​violate a commandment/​Islamic law/​Jewish law be/​accept/​do God’s will receive/​experience divine grace achieve/​attain enlightenment/​salvation/​nirvana undergo a conversion/​rebirth/​reincarnation hear/​answer a prayer commit/​confess/​forgive a sin do/​perform penance
  2. 2   [countable] a fixed form of words that you can say when you speak to God It was a prayer she had learnt as a child. see also Lord’s Prayer
  3. 3  [uncountable] the act or habit of praying They knelt in prayer. We believe in the power of prayer.
  4. 4 prayers [plural] a religious meeting that takes place regularly in which people say prayers
  5. 5[countable, usually singular] a thing that you hope for very much My prayer is that one day he will walk again.
  6. Word OriginMiddle English: from Old French preiere, based on Latin precarius ‘obtained by entreaty’, from prex, prec- ‘prayer’.Extra examples Buddhist prayer flags fluttering in the breeze Does God answer our prayers? He fiddled with his prayer beads. He gave a prayer of thanks to the troops. He spends an hour each day at prayer. He spoke a brief prayer over their meal. I said a prayer of grateful thanks to God. I sent up a quick prayer and entered the interview room. Let us remember them in our prayers today. Local groups meet for prayer. Muslims attend Friday prayers at the mosque. Priests chanted prayers and read from sacred texts. She began to pray a prayer of sincere gratitude. She moved her lips in silent prayer. She uttered a silent prayer. She whispered a little prayer. Students are required to attend prayers twice a week. Thankfully, his prayers were granted. The congregation kneeled in prayer. The letter was the answer to all her prayers. This never had a prayer of working. Tibetan monks use a prayer wheel. We had family prayers before breakfast. Whenever I pass a temple, I mutter a quick prayer. a Buddhist prayer hall a Jewish prayer shawl a multi-faith prayer room in the college a prayer for peace a prayer leader at the mosque the contentious issue of school prayer the five daily ritual prayers of Islam He arrived at that very moment, as if in answer to her prayer.Idioms with only a very slight chance of success
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: prayer