Five Different Types of Prayer

A grave marker with a woman prayingPrayer is an important part of Christianity. In fact, since prayer is ultimately communication with God, it is probably the most important thing Christians should be doing on a daily basis (keeping in mind too, that the Eucharist is a type of prayer too).

Below are five types of prayer that you can, and should, use in your regular prayer life.

Petition (Intercession)

This is praying for others, and their needs. It is probably the most common type, and even non-believers sometimes do it!

A part of the Mass is devoted specifically to this type of prayer, in which we pray for our leaders, the community, and those who have died. Jesus says that we will receive what we ask for in faith. This is a call to offer up our needs and the needs of other people.

Thanksgiving

A natural outgrowth of what God does for us is gratitude. A thanksgiving prayer expresses our gratitude for God, his actions,  and his traits. Many Psalms are devoted entirely to expressing gratitude for God’s goodness.

Penitential

An important part of the Judeo-Christian tradition is asking forgiveness and expressing sorrow for our sins. Psalm 51 is a perfect example of an entire chapter of Scripture devoted to this. Many Catholics will pray a penitential prayer at the end of each day, recalling areas they have fallen short of God’s holiness. In the Mass, the confiteor is a penitential prayer.

Blessing

This is praying or intending something good for someone else. The Latin word is benediction, which means to “speak well of.” Priests bless things by the nature of their ordination, but laypersons can ask blessings upon things. Traditionally, this time of year priests will bless chalk for use in blessing one’s home.

Adoration

Contemplating the goodness and nature of God naturally leads to us giving God glory and praise. Many biblical writers spontaneously adore God, as should we.

About David Bennett

David Bennett is an author, speaker, and small business owner. He started ChurchYear.Net in 2004, along with his brother Jonathan. The site gets over one million visitors a year, and Bennett's writings have appeared in church bulletins, newspapers, and other media.

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