Prayer Series: Why Do We Pray?


What Is Prayer?


Is prayer the language of God? Is it just a belief, a tradition? Is it an expression of faith?

Why Do We Pray?

For Christians, there are four reasons why we pray: to ask for something; to ask for forgiveness; to thank God; and to praise God.

How Do We Pray?

There are four modes of prayer: colloquial (just like conversational); ritual (pray-ers follow a standard form such as the celebration of a Holy Mass); devotional (prayers written for private devotions or communal recitations); meditative (also contemplative, which is listening to God).

Christians practice Lectio Divina (Divine Reading), which is done in four steps: lectio, meditatio, oratio, contemplatio; or read, meditate, pray, contemplate. It is a form of prayer based on the Holy Scriptures that started in the 3rd century as taught by St Ambrose to St Augustine. Similar to Lectio Divina is St Ignatius's Examen. Here's a step-by-step Lectio Divina.

To Whom Do We Pray?

Depending on your faith. Christians pray to God.

When Do We Pray?

Pray every day. Life is a prayer.

Where Do We Pray?

Can be anywhere decent. Find your prayer spot. In case of emergency, you can pray just where you are standing.