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The request contained in a bill in Equity that the court will grant the process, aid, or relief that the complainant desires.

In addition, the term prayer is applied to that segment of the bill that contains this request.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


n. the specific request for judgment, relief and/or damages at the conclusion of a complaint or petition. A typical prayer would read: "The plaintiff prays for: 1) special damages in the sum of $17,500; 2) general damages according to proof [proved in trial]; 3) reasonable attorney's fees; 4) costs of suit; and 5) such other and further relief as the court shall deem proper." A prayer gives the judge an idea of what is sought, and may become the basis of a judgment if the defendant defaults (fails to file an answer). Sometimes a plaintiff will inflate damages in the prayer for publicity or intimidation purposes, or because the plaintiff believes that a gigantic demand will be a better starting point in negotiations. However, the ridiculous multi-million prayers in smaller cases make plaintiffs look foolish and unrealistic. (See: complaint, default judgment)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.


a request contained in a petition to a court for the relief sought by the petitioner.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

PRAYER, chanc. pleadings. That part of a bill which asks for relief.
     2. The skill of the solicitor is to be exercised in framing this part of the bill. An accurate specification of the matters to be decreed in complicated cases, requires great discernment and experience; Coop. Eq. Pl. 13; it is varied as the case is made out, concluding always with a prayer of general relief, at the discretion of the court. Mitf. Pl. 45.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
About 5,000 church members from 1,500 families have been divided into 27 prayer groups, he said.
While increasingly popular outside of mainstream medicine, this is one of the first efforts to study the impact of noetic therapies using rigorous, scientific research methods, the results of which have been published in the American Heart Journal: Patients receiving noetic therapies( including long distance prayer in addition to their standard treatment) had 30 percent fewer complications overall; those who were treated with the doubleblinded, off-site prayers from eight prayer groups around the world had 50 percent fewer minor complications and 100 percent fewer major complications.
Susan fell for Helmut at prayer group Helmut...invited to Rome
An important feature of these studies is that the patients in them do not know if they are receiving prayer (i.e., they do not know if they are in the prayer group or in the control) and, in some cases, do not even know that they are participating in a study at all.
Stephen Green, National Director of Christian Voice, a UK-wide prayer group, confirmed that it would mount a private prosecution.
In the prayer group, he says, "[the support team] will pray for her; she will pray for them," Koenig says.
The design was that of a "randomized, controlled, double-blind, prospective, parallel-group trial." Patients were admitted consecutively to the coronary care unit (CCU) and randomized into a "prayer group" (the even-numbered medical records) and a "usual care group" (the odd-numbered medical records).
In an age of egalitarianism, most people wonder what would motivate women to set up a single-sex prayer group, and, in a period of religious subjectivity and exploration, most people would be surprised that such an experiment would need any justification at all.
However, the results at the end of the trial revealed fewer complications--congestive heart failure, cardiopulmonary arrest, pneumonia--and fewer requirements for "ventilatory support, antibiotics, or diuretics" among the prayer group. It is possible, Byrd suggests, that even greater differences would have been observed had the research design achieved "pure groups"; that is, subjects in the control group were not prevented from offering their own prayers nor could the effects of prayers by others be accounted for.
Of the various conditions measured, congestive heart failure, cardiopulmonary arrest, and pneumonia were seen less frequently in the prayer group. This same group also used fewer diuretics, antibiotics, and intubation/ventilation procedures than the second, non-prayer group.
All in all, it was a 24-hour trip for one prayer group that attended the papal mass in Abu Dhabi.
At the Cathedral of Christ the King in Lexington, Catholics who are part of a rapidly expanding prayer group find both qualities accurately describe the praise and worship they experience together.