Definition for PRAY

PRAY, v.i. [Fr. prier; It. pregare; L. precor; Russ. prochu; allied perhaps to the Sax. frægnan, G. fragen, D. vraagen, Sw. fråga, to ask, L. proco. This word belongs to the same family as preach and reproach, Heb. Ch. Syr. Eth. and Ar. ברד, to bless, to reproach; rendered in Job ii. 9, to curse; properly, to reproach, to rail at or upbraid, W. rhegu. The primary sense is to throw, to pour forth sounds or words; for the same word in Arabic, بَرَكَ baraka, signifies to pour out water, as in violent rain, Gr. βρεχω. See Rain. As the oriental word signifies to bless, and to reproach or curse, so in Latin the same word precor signifies to supplicate good or evil, and precis signifies a prayer and a curse. See Imprecate. Class Brg, No. 3, and see No. 4, 6, 7, 8.]

  1. To ask with earnestness or zeal, as for a favor, or for something desirable; to entreat; to supplicate. Pray for them who despitefully use you and persecute you. – Matth. v.
  2. To petition; to ask, as for a favor; as in application to a legislative body.
  3. In worship, to address the Supreme Being with solemnity and reverence, with adoration, confession of sins, supplication for mercy, and thanksgiving for blessings received. When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father who is in secret, and thy Father who seeth in secret, will reward thee openly. – Matth. vi.
  4. I pray, that is, I pray you tell me, or let me know, is a common mode of introducing a question.

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