Prayer Challenge



In this guide:
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Invite your friends, family, or community to a prayer challenge. It’s a blast, and you’ll even earn rewards!


What is Prayer?

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Prayer is a central part of many spiritual and religious traditions, and is often seen as a way to connect with a higher power or to find guidance, comfort, or inspiration.


Prayer can take many forms, and may be spoken or sung aloud, or silently in the mind or heart. It may be a formal, structured practice, or a more spontaneous and personal expression of faith.

Health Benefits of Prayer

There is some evidence to suggest that prayer may have a number of potential health benefits.

Increased happiness and well-being

Some studies have found that people who pray or engage in other spiritual practices may experience a greater sense of well-being and purpose in life.

Improved physical health

Prayer may be associated with improved physical health outcomes, such as lower blood pressure and better immune function.

Reduced stress

Prayer can act as a form of meditation, which is known to reduce stress and promote relaxation.

Increased resilience

Prayer can help individuals to cope better with stressful situations, and build resilience to challenges.

Better sleep

The stress-reducing effects of prayer have been linked to better sleep quality and duration.

The specific benefits of prayer may vary depending on an individual’s personal beliefs, practices, and experiences.


Key Elements of Prayer

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The key elements involved in a prayer practice may vary depending on the specific tradition or belief system involved. Here are a few general principles that may be common to many prayer practices:


Setting aside time


Many people find it helpful to set aside specific times each day for prayer, whether this is a formal, structured practice or a more spontaneous and personal expression of faith.


Creating a sacred space


 Some people find it helpful to create a dedicated space for prayer, such as a prayer corner or altar, where they can focus on their practice without distractions.

Using specific words or phrases


Many prayer practices involve the use of specific words or phrases, such as traditional prayers, mantras, or affirmations.


Focusing the mind


Prayer often involves focusing the mind on the higher power or deity being prayed to, as well as on the intentions or requests being made in the prayer.


Offering thanks


Many prayer practices involve giving thanks to the higher power or deity being prayed to.


Seeking guidance


Many people turn to prayer as a way to seek guidance, direction, or support in times of need.


It’s important to note that these are just a few of the components that may be involved in a prayer practice, and what is most important will vary depending on an individual’s personal beliefs and practices.

Different Ways to Pray

There are many different ways to pray, and what works best for you will depend on your personal beliefs and needs. Here are a few examples of different approaches to prayer:

Traditional prayers

Many spiritual and religious traditions have specific prayers that are used as part of their practice. These prayers may be spoken or sung aloud, and may be used in formal settings such as church services, or in more personal settings such as at home or in private devotions.


A mantra is a word or phrase that is repeated as a form of meditation or spiritual practice. Mantras may be used in prayer as a way to focus the mind and connect with a higher power.


Affirmations are positive statements that are used to focus the mind and change negative patterns of thought. Some people use affirmations in their prayer practice as a way to cultivate a positive mindset and connect with their spiritual beliefs.

Silent contemplative meditation

Some people find it helpful to practice silent contemplative meditation as a form of prayer, sitting quietly and focusing their attention on the present moment or on a particular intention or request. It may involve silently repeating a word or phrase, or simply sitting in silence and openness to the divine.

"Prayer has helped me to develop a deeper sense of gratitude and appreciation for all the blessings in my life, and has given me a renewed sense of purpose and direction."

– MasterHealth community member

How to Build a Prayer Practice


Start small

It can be overwhelming to try to establish a new habit all at once. Try starting with a short, manageable practice, such as taking a few minutes each day to pray. As you become more comfortable with the practice, you may naturally choose to increase the length and frequency of your prayer sessions.


Find a routine that works for you

Consider when and where you are most likely to stick with your practice, and try to make your prayer sessions a regular part of your routine. Many people choose to set aside a specific time each day for prayer, such as in the morning, evening or before a meal.


Make it meaningful

Rather than simply going through the motions, like running through the words of a prayer with your mind adrift, try to be genuinely present and engaged with your practice.


Be patient

Establishing a new habit takes time and consistency. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t see immediate benefits, and remember that it’s okay to take breaks or modify your practice as needed.


Seek support

If you’re having trouble sticking with your prayer practice, consider finding a prayer buddy or family member to pray with, or join a prayer group or class to help keep you motivated to continue praying.

Overcoming Prayer Setbacks

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Some common setbacks to creating a prayer practice include feeling like you don’t have enough time, difficulty focusing, and feeling like your prayer practice is not making a difference.


Here are a few strategies that may help you overcome these challenges:


Set realistic goals


It’s important to be realistic about how much time you can realistically devote to prayer each day. If you’re struggling to find time for a formal prayer practice, try setting aside just a few minutes each day to pray or meditate.

Find a quiet place


It can be difficult to focus during prayer if you’re surrounded by distractions. Try to find a quiet place where you can focus on your practice without interruptions and let your family know that you’ll be ‘busy’ praying for the allotted time.


Use techniques to help you focus


There are many techniques that can help you focus during prayer, such as repeating a prayer mantra, using your senses to ground you in the present moment, or using visualization or imagery to help you connect with your intention or request.


Seek support


If you’re feeling stuck or like your prayer practice is not making a difference, consider seeking support from others. This might involve a friend or family member who is happy to be your ‘prayer buddy’, or a religious leader who can offer guidance and support.


Be open to change


It’s important to be open to trying new approaches and finding what works best for you. If one approach isn’t working, don’t be afraid to try something different.

Common Questions

Prayer is often associated with religious practices, but it is not limited to religious people. Some people may consider prayer to be a way to connect with a higher power or a spiritual force, while others may see it as a way to connect with themselves or the world around them.


Many people who do not identify with a particular religion still practice prayer as a way to express gratitude, ask for guidance, or simply take a moment to reflect on their thoughts and feelings.


It’s important to note that everyone’s understanding and practice of prayer can be different, and it is ultimately a personal choice whether or not to pray, and how to practice it.

Here are some common misconceptions about prayer:


  • Prayer only works if you have faith: Many people believe that prayer is only effective if you have strong faith, however, prayer is a personal practice and the level of faith one has does not necessarily determine the effectiveness of prayer.


  • Prayer is only for asking for things: Prayer is often associated with asking for things or for help, but it can also be used for giving thanks, seeking guidance, and expressing gratitude.


  • Prayer is only for big events or problems: Many people only turn to prayer in times of crisis or major life events, but prayer can be used in any situation, big or small, and it can be used as a daily practice.


  • Prayer is only done in a certain way or place: Prayer can take many forms and can be done in many different settings. Some people may prefer to pray silently, while others may prefer to pray with a group. Some people may prefer to pray in a specific location, such as a church or mosque, while others may prefer to pray wherever they happen to be at the time.


  • Prayer only works if you are asking for something that is good for you: Some people may think that prayer only works if you are asking for something that is good for you, or that aligns with a higher power’s will. However, prayer can be used to express any kind of thoughts and feelings, it can be used to ask for things, to give thanks, to seek guidance, etc.

What you choose to pray for will depend on your life circumstances. Here are a few ideas of things that people may pray for:


  • Health and well-being: Praying for oneself and loved ones to be healthy and safe.


  • Forgiveness & gratitude: Praying for forgiveness for one’s own mistakes or for the ability to forgive others and giving thanks for the good things in life and all the blessings received.


  • Strength & courage: Praying for the strength and courage to face difficult challenges and overcome obstacles.


  • Peace & harmony: Praying for peace and harmony in the world and for the well-being of all people.


  • Help & support: Praying for help and support from a higher power or from others during difficult times. You may also ask for guidance and wisdom in making difficult decisions or navigating challenging situations.


  • Compassion, kindness, inner peace & tranquility: You can pray for the ability to be more compassionate and kind to oneself and others, to have more inner peace and tranquility, or for the ability to find calm and balance in one’s life.


It’s important to note that these are just examples and what people choose to pray for can vary greatly among different religions, spiritual beliefs, and even individuals. The key is to pray for what is meaningful and important to you.

Prayer Support & Resources

Your place of worship: Many religious and spiritual communities offer support and resources for prayer, such as group prayer sessions, retreats, or classes on prayer and spirituality.


Online communities: There are many online communities (such as the MasterHealth community) and forums dedicated to prayer and spirituality, where you can connect with others with similar goals.


Books and other resources: There are many books and other resources available that can provide guidance and inspiration for prayer, such as prayer books, devotional guides, and podcasts.


Spiritual or pastoral counseling: Some people find it helpful to work with a spiritual or pastoral counselor who can provide support and guidance as they develop their prayer practice.


Remember that it’s important to find a support system that works for you and meets your needs. What works for one person may not work for another, so it may take some trial and error to find the right fit.

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