Prayer timeout refers to how much time you need to wait before your god will accept another prayer. Gods in NetHack are often benevolent, but prefer if you wait some time between prayers. The initial value of your prayer timeout is set to 300, and decreases by one each game turn. Note that if you are fast or very fast, you may move more than once per game turn, and your prayer timeout may appear longer because you take more actions in the same number of game turns. A wand or potion of enlightenment can be used to determine if it is safe to pray.

The exact amount by which your prayer timeout increases after praying is a complex mathematical function involving several random variables, causing the increase to range between about 50 and 1000.

## Praying

Your prayer timeout is reset by praying. The amount it is reset to depends on several things:

Also your prayer timeout may be incremented further if you've done any of the following actions:

## Wishing

A successful wish increases your prayer timeout. The 95% confidence value is an additional 145 turns and the 100% confidence value is 150 turns. See below for more information on confidence values.

## Sacrificing corpse

The only way to decrease your prayer timeout (other than waiting) is to sacrifice corpses at a co-aligned altar. This is governed by the following formula which depends on your alignment.

• Chaotic: ${\displaystyle \frac{MONSTR * 500}{24}}$
• Lawful and Neutral: ${\displaystyle \frac{MONSTR * 300}{24}}$

Where MONSTR is the difficulty level of the monster the corpse came from. The value from above is then subtracted from your prayer timeout. You can determine if it is safe to pray depending on what message you received after your sacrifice.

## Typical prayer timeouts

The confidence value is the prayer timeout value that will result 95% of the time. In other words, if you've waited that many turns, you can be 95% confident that you can pray again. As you can see, the 100% confidence value is extremely large and fairly useless except for those who fear the RNG. (Amusingly, for crowned characters, praying too early may actually shorten the prayer timeout.)

Prayer 95% Confidence 100% Confidence if your level <=17 100% Confidence at level 30
God is displeased 1053 2998 5997
God is pleased 1229 3498 6996
God is pleased, and you've been crowned OR have killed Rodney* 3980 13493 26986
God is pleased, and you've been crowned AND have killed Rodney* 7479 23488 46976

*The invocation ritual also counts, in case you get the Book of the Dead without killing Rodney.

The waiting time is graphed below as a function of the desired confidence level (assuming you are level <=17):