Really analytical people love to dissect prayer. They like to know what types of prayer there are. They also like to know the components of each prayer. I have no problem with that but I don’t get hung up on it. I know that sociologists, psychologists and organization experts also enjoy dissecting the types of conversations we have and I approach that research the same way. It’s interesting and helpful but I can’t go into every conversation I have as though there’s a formula for it. “Today I’m going to have some generative dialogue with the neighbors. If that goes well, then I’ll move onto reflexive dialogue.”
That being said, sometimes I do refer to certain kinds of prayer. Here are words I might use, added to this list as I refer to them:
Centering prayer: A silent, contemplative way of praying. In centering prayer we don’t focus so much on “talking” to God but on quieting ourselves so that we can experience God’s presence.
Intercessory prayer: Prayer made on behalf of someone else. Praying for protection for a child, healing for a neighbor or wisdom for a spouse are all intercessory prayers.
Prayer of Supplication: Praying for ourselves.