Prayer is an invocation or act that seeks to activate a rapport with God through deliberate communication. Prayer can be a form of religious practice, may be either individual or communal and take place in public or in private. It may involve the use of words or song or even silence. When language is used, prayer may take the form of a hymn, incantation, formal creed, or a spontaneous utterance in the praying person. There are different forms of prayer such as petitionary prayer, prayers of supplication, thanksgiving, and worship/praise. Prayer may be directed towards God for the purpose of worshipping, requesting guidance, requesting assistance, confessing sins or to express one’s thoughts and emotions. Thus, people pray for many reasons such as personal benefit or for the sake of others or to know God’s will.
Types of Prayer (not intended as an exhaustive list – and not in listed in order of priority)
- Praise (songs and psalms)
- Questioning/informational (knowing His will)
- Cry for help
- Glossolalia (speaking, singing, praying in tongues)
- Experiential (getting to know Him see Hesychasm in Wikipedia)
- Contemplative and silent prayer
- Affirmative prayer
- ‘Thought life’ prayer
- Recited prayers (Lord’s Prayer, Book of Common Prayer – Anglicans)
The Lord’s Prayer: (A model for prayers of adoration, petition & confession)
Our Father in heaven, hallowed is your name.
Your kingdom come, your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts,
As we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”
Father, hallowed is your name.
Your kingdom come
Give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins,
For we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And lead us not into temptation
For yours is the kingdom
The power and the glory
Forever and ever Amen.
For other prayers see also in the Bible:
- Song of Moses
- Song of Hannah
- Magnificat (Mary)