Is prayer an important element in Hindu life?
For Hindus, praying to God is a part of everyday life. It may be a short thanksgiving to God or a request for some favour. Many are involved in a complete session with all its frills. Some pray individually. Others pray in a group. India is a land of gods. Everyone is free to choose one's God, or the mode of prayer. The Hindu way of life is liberal in this aspect.
Why is praying so important to Hindus? It is a way to express their faith and devotion to God. It is a way of looking up to a powerful force that has no equal. It not only gives one an ideal to strive for, but also an ability to transform oneself to become a better person. A little is achieved each day. It helps cushion problems of everyday life.
In the Rig-Veda, 1/113/11, it is said:
Those people, who wake up before sunrise, bathe and pray to God are religious and wise. They are ethical. Their activities are directed towards God. Those men and women who speak softly, pray together and enjoy a good relationship are blessed with happiness.
Vedavyas explains the importance of daily prayer to God in the Mahabharata,
Anushashan Parv, 149/5-6, as: