The Five Types of Prayer

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

Prayer and Christian life are inseparable (CCC 2745). And, Prayer is a vital necessity (CCC 2744).

Mother Teresa has said, "Every time we need to make a decision concerning our families, we need to pray. Jesus said, 'Ask and you will receive. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened.' Nothing will be denied you. "

I really liked hearing a certain priest's homily yesterday on prayer. In it he identified five forms of prayer:

1) Thanksgiving - Giving God the thanks He deserves. We were created and redeemed by Him yet He continues to bless us and love us. God is deserving of all respect, yet this type of prayer is the least common one. What would happen if you one day you couldn't give thanks to God? What would happen if you suffered from a horrible condition and could no longer give God thanks? Remember to thank Your One God for His unexplainable love and blessings. The greatest expression of thanksgiving should be after one receives the Eucharist.

2) Petition - This is probably the most common type of prayer. We bring our requests before God for ourselves, our family, or our friends. At Mass petitions are read, but petitions can be said anytime or anywhere. Prayer doesn't have to be limited to one place. Some people do not believe in attending the Holy Mass. They say "God is everywhere". Yes, but He is everywhere in different ways. God is truly present in the Eucharist - the most real presence of Our Lord on this earth. While we can pray anywhere the greatest prayers are those before the Eucharist, where the veil between Heaven and earth is at its thinnest.

3) Persevering Prayer - These are the prayers for the deepest intentions of our heart. If we pray night and day for this intention then this is persevering prayer. Job persevered in his prayers as illustrated in the Old Testament. I will go as far to say that all presevering prayers are answered as our Lord said, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you" (Matthew 7:7)

4) Intersession - These prayers are very similar to those of petition, but there is a distinct difference. In prayers of intercession we are asking praying for others. These are the one type of prayer that includes the saints. We can ask these servants of God already in Heaven to pray for us just as we ask our friends on earth to pray for us.

5) Meditative prayer - This is the most simple of prayers. In these we don't say anything. We simply meditate on God's love and mercy. These prayers are very common in those quiet moments of Eucharistic Adoration. Just being one with Our Lord is the greatest gift.


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