Thursday will mark the the National Day of Prayer, a formal day enacted in 1952 by the Congress and President Harry S. Truman for prayer and meditation.

Prayer is a daily ritual for many Americans. More than half of Americans said they pray every day, according to a 2013 Pew Research Center survey, while 23 percent said they pray weekly or monthly and 21 percent said they seldom or never pray. Women are more likely than men to pray every day (65 percent compared to 46 percent), and older people are more likely than younger adults to say they pray daily (60 percent compared to 45 percent).

But how do people pray? In the following videos, members of different faiths explain how they pray according to their different traditions.


How to pray … like a Buddhist

Gen Kelsang Varahi, visiting teacher at Vajrayogini Buddhist Center says Buddhist prayers have nothing to do with blind faith.


How to pray…like a Mormon

Linda Otani McKinney, LDS president of the Relief Society for the Washington D.C. stake, says to think of prayer as “a heavenly conversation.”

How to pray … in a labyrinth

Terri Lynn Simpson, labyrinth facilitator at the Washington National Cathedral, offers a type of prayer — walking through a labyrinth — that people of any religious persuasion can do. (The National Cathedral’s labyrinth is open to the public on the last Tuesday of every month.)

How to pray…like a Sikh

Surinder Singh, head priest of Sikh Gurdwara in Washington, says the first step to praying is to surrender the ego.

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