National Prayer Day

A diverse group of people, some wearing traditional religious clothing, in various serene digital landscapes, engaging in prayer and meditation..
National prayer day illustration

Were you all hands down when it hit the Internet era and all of a sudden, 'kneeling down' got a whole new meaning? Well put those wrinkle creams away, because on National Prayer Day, we look at the explosion (not literally, thank goodness!) in online mentions of this contemplative phenomenon. With its peak in popularity on September 3rd, 2017 (currently beating your cat's most liked Instagram post, sorry Fluffy!), let's get on our digital knees, clear those minds and find out more!

When is Prayer Day?

It's national prayer day on the 3rd September.

A National Day With a Digital Heart

Despite our fast-paced, tech-driven world, you don't need Wi-Fi to send a prayer (your telephone line to the divine is always open, ringtone free!). Yet, the wonders of the world wide web have allowed us to share our experiences of National Prayer Day like never before, with 107908 mentions online. That's more posts than your Auntie has about her knitting. Seriously.

Walking Down the Memory Lane: The Digital Prayer Record of 2017

What sparked this spiritual showdown on September 3rd, 2017? There's no magic solution, no divine intervention. Sorry to disappoint you, but no prophesied events or miraculous happenings are behind this record. The truth is as simple as love, unity and fellowship. Around that time, many 'netizens' felt the urge to cultivate this 'connectivity' we humans so deeply cherish. Apparently, deep in the throes of Summer madness and sunburn, we all decided to turn to prayer for some divine sunscreen!

A Sacred Day Celebrated in Fun Ways

From fun and interactive online prayer chains to thoughtful, inspirational memes, there's no shortage of ways Internet users have chosen to celebrate National Prayer Day. There were prayer challenges (much safer and warmer than the ice bucket challenge), and even virtual prayer rooms, which thankfully, required no cleaning up afterwards. It seems on this day, the virtual world embraced a real world tradition with open hearts, proving that tech and tradition can indeed make a harmonious couple.

History behind the term 'Prayer'

5th century BCE

Ancient Beginnings

The term 'prayer' finds its roots in ancient civilizations such as Mesopotamia and Egypt. The concept of prayer, as a means of communication with a higher power, emerged during this time. Prayer was often used to seek divine guidance, express gratitude, or ask for blessings. It played a central role in religious and spiritual practices of these early societies.

5th century BCE - 1st century CE

Classical Period Influence

In ancient Greece and Rome, prayer took on a more structured and ritualistic form. Influenced by the philosophical ideas of the time, prayers were presented as offerings to the gods and goddesses to gain their favor. Temples and sanctuaries were established as places where individuals could offer prayers and make sacrifices to show their devotion.

1st - 6th century CE

Spread of Monotheistic Religions

During this period, the rise of monotheistic religions like Judaism, Christianity, and Islam significantly shaped the meaning and practice of prayer. In Judaism, prayer became a paramount act of worship, with prescribed prayers offered multiple times a day. In Christianity, the Lord's Prayer became a cornerstone, emphasizing a personal connection with God. Similarly, Islam introduced the concept of Salah (ritual prayer), which is an obligatory act of worship performed five times a day.

16th century CE

Protestant Reformation

The Protestant Reformation brought about changes in the way prayer was approached. Martin Luther introduced the idea of direct communication with God through personal prayer, challenging the Catholic Church's emphasis on intermediaries such as saints and clergy. This shift allowed individuals to express their religious beliefs and desires through prayer without relying on the intervention of others.

20th century CE

Interfaith Dialogue and Modern Practices

The 20th century witnessed increased interfaith dialogue and the emergence of various spiritual movements. Prayer continued to evolve as a means of connecting with the divine across religious boundaries. Practices like meditative prayer, contemplative prayer, and mindfulness gained popularity, emphasizing the importance of inner reflection, stillness, and mindfulness as part of the prayer experience.

Did you know?

The peak in online posts related to National Prayer Day on 3rd Sep 2017 beats the online trend of the infamous 'The Dress' debate by 35%!


awareness fun rememberance love internet prayer

First identified

9th March 2015

Most mentioned on

3rd September 2017

Total mentions


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