Types of Prayer

Types of Prayer

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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.

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