How do you say a person that prays

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Moviefans, Dec 11, 2006.

  1. Moviefans Senior Member

    I used to think the word "prayer" meant "a person who prays". But I find just now that "prayer" can only mean "the behavior of praying".

    So I wonder how you call a person who prays? For example, I have a song named "Night prayer". Does it refer to a person, or a behavior ,or a piece of writing for praying?
  2. Kelly B

    Kelly B Senior Member

    USA English
    The last possibility is the most likely: it is a piece of poetic writing intended to be read as part of the behavior of prayer
  3. TrentinaNE

    TrentinaNE Senior Member

    English (American)
    Prayer can also mean one who prays, but as you see at the WR dictionary, that is definition No. 5, so it's not used much in that sense. It would be easier to distinguish verbally, as I imagine one would pronounce it PRAY-er, rather than prare. But in writing, without sufficient context, it could be very confusing.

    Supplicant is often used in Catholic services to mean the one who prays.

  4. DCPaco Senior Member

    Planet Earth
    Spanish of Mexico/ English of the USA
    Who is the song by? (I ask so that I can take a look at the lyrics.)

    Prayer can be something that is recited, or something that is said and spoke to a deity.

    Prayer can also be one who prays but it is seldomly used this way.
  5. Moviefans Senior Member

    Thank you. I see now. Maybe my dictionary really needs changing.

    It's sung by a group of German singers called Iridio. (I don't if the underlined part is correct translation or not, if you don't mind correcting for me.)

    By the way, I love this song so much. I can never be bored with it. It vividly or accurately describes my situation and the state of my heart.
  6. DCPaco Senior Member

    Planet Earth
    Spanish of Mexico/ English of the USA
    I just read the lyrics and yes, it's a prayer (something that is recited) for night time and it is lovely.

    Best regards,
  7. MissFit

    MissFit Senior Member

    I have seen pray-er written with a hyphen to indicate a person who prays. The hyphen exaggerates the separateness of the syllables as when it is pronounced and distinguishes it from prayer, meaning what is said. To be clearly understood, a phrase is most often used to describe a person who prays. Here are some examples:

    a man who is in the habit of praying (daily, continually, often, etc.)
    a woman who prays (daily, continually, often, etc.)
    a person of prayer (in a general sense)
    a prayer warrior (This one is harder to explain... this is a trite phrase used by Pentecostals and some other Christians to mean a person who prays in a militant manner to defeat the works of Satan.)

    A person who is praying might also be called:
    ...a worshipper if the prayer is a prayer of worship.
    ...a supplicant/entreator/petitioner/beseecher if the person is requesting something from God. intercessor if the prayer is on behalf of another person. Intercessor is a fairly common word among American Christians--probably elsewhere too.

    There may be other terms that are specific to other religions.
  8. river Senior Member

    U.S. English
    A "contemplative" perhaps.
  9. jdenson

    jdenson Senior Member

    Houston, Texas
    USA / English
    A small correction to the above. (a typo, no doubt)

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