Why Peo­ple Pray

  • From the Publisher
May 3, 2016

What is prayer? In Why Peo­ple Pray, Rab­bi Morde­cai Schreiber exam­ines the elu­sive nature of prayer, as well as the his­to­ry of for­mal prayer and how it has been shaped — and con­tin­ues to be shaped — by an era of unprece­dent­ed globalization.

At the heart of the book is that very ques­tion: why do we pray? What is it that com­pels us to have faith, or to give it up? Why do we con­tin­ue to believe in a high­er pow­er in spite of dis­crim­i­na­tion, con­flict, ill­ness, and loss?

Why Peo­ple Pray intro­duces a fas­ci­nat­ing new sup­po­si­tion: that peo­ple of all faiths and all nation­al­i­ties could con­ceiv­ably find ways to pray togeth­er, using prayers that are uni­ver­sal to all while simul­ta­ne­ous­ly pre­serv­ing the integri­ty of each indi­vid­ual faith. Schreiber pro­pos­es a new approach to prayer, in which the spir­i­tu­al adher­ents of the world’s reli­gions come togeth­er to for­mu­late a uni­ver­sal expres­sion of prayer that does not replace exist­ing creeds, but rather tran­scends all creeds and gives voice to human­i­ty’s yearn­ing for peace, free­dom, and social justice.

Discussion Questions