[Student] So when you pray to God, do you read from a bible or something or do you just do it in your mind?
[Student] It’s sort of just in your mind, it can also be out loud but I guess you think about, it doesn’t have to be a set prayer so you can make it up as you go along but there’s also other prayers like the Our Father and Hail Mary which are set prayers.
[Student] Because I know it sounds cliche but I know in the movies some people before they go to bed they lean on the bed and say a prayer or before they eat a meal..
[Student] Yeah, I guess it depends. Some of my family, but extended family, is a little bit more religious so they’ll say Grace which is the prayer before a meal, but my family doesn’t personally do that. I sometimes pray before I go to sleep but it is a bit of a cliche, sitting next to your bed and, yeah.
[Student] Well we don’t really have a structured prayer time like you do, sort of five times a day thing. I mean there is morning, midday and the evening prayers that you can do but really in our religion it’s just sort of when you feel you need to pray or you want to pray and really it’s just sitting down and talking to God. How about you?
[Student] For us is five times a day and there’s early, early morning and there’s an early afternoon and then there’s a late afternoon then there’s an evening at sunset and then there’s an evening prayer. So there are different structures for each and every prayer and how it’s done. There are segments for every prayer so in the first prayer, in the early morning prayer there’s two segments then there’s four and then there’s four, then there’s three, then there’s four for the last one in the evening. So it gets pretty structured and it might even be a bit confusing when you first start, especially when we’re kids, watching our parents and being taught at school and everything it really helps, it becomes fluid and natural after awhile.
[Student] I probably pray only when something bad is happening, which is not good, because I should be thankful all the time but that’s the time I really remember and that’s the time that brings me back to reality with being a Christian.
[Student] I think in Judaism it’s similar. I think individual people, they’ll pray the hardest or they’ll pray at all if they don’t normally in times where they really need it before a VCE exam or if something bad happened but I guess Judaism is a very regimented form of prayer in which the things you’re meant to say are all set out for you, it’s very formulated but should you want to insert other things, there are times and spaces in the prayer where you’re able to give your own personal prayers...
[Student] Fill in the blank.
[Student] Something like that.
[Student] How about yourself?
[Student] Generally when I’m praying it’s when I’m in the synagogue and we have a set prayer, I don’t know what you call it, while we pray, but there’s also times like you or like anyone I guess when I’m just by myself and I just speak to God in your own way and I think it’s really up to the individual how they pray.
[Student] Well in my family, I was brought up as a strong Catholic, we went to church every Sunday, and that was a strong faith with my family but as we got older we tended to skip out of Sunday church and now it’s mainly just we go at Christmas and we go at Easter to celebrate Christ and all that but within our family we say a prayer at dinner before we eat and we pray sometimes when we feel the need.
[Student] Yeah, well when I talk to God I feel like it’s a conversation like I have with everybody. Like when I’m talking with you now, that’s what I feel with God. He’ll put images into my head that I wouldn’t be able to see without asking him. What about you? How do you take this?
[Student] Pretty much the same as you really, you might be in your bedroom, when you wake up or something, just pray ‘thank you for this day’ or things like that and I kind of get images as well and you’re directly having a conversation and I’m kind of reiterating what you’ve just said but it’s like this sort of emotion or things you fear when you do pray to God you feel like you’re directly talking to him and things like that.
[Student] For me, when I pray, I feel closer to God, like if I’m not feeling well I just go pray or open up the Koran and read because I feel like it sooths inside me. So I pray just to feel that connection to God. How do you pray?
[Student] I pray regularly, and it’s similar, to feel connection with God. I pray not just to ask for things but just to praise him to thank him for being with me.
[Student] Just to thank him for everything he’s given us.