In today’s blog, we are going to continue with the last 6 different types of prayer out of 12 to provide ideas and options to incorporate into your own routine or, if needed, to give yourself some variety within your prayer routine. They were all taken from a book I love, Miracle Hour, by Linda Schubert.
7) Forgiveness: The Holy Spirit wants us to mend our broken relationships with others and with ourselves. Sometimes the will to forgive may not be there, but saying a prayer of forgiveness frequently will get our minds, and then our hearts, to overcome the negative emotions and attain peace after the burning wall of resentment finally crumbles and we are able to look at the person who wronged for who he/she is: Another human being who made a choice that hurt us.
TIP: Forgiveness is different from condoning, excusing, forgetting, pardoning, and reconciliation.
8) Scripture reflections: While prayer may seem at times like a one-way communication from us to God, reflecting on Bible passages allows us to read a direct account of what God has to say to us. Where to start? There’s no universal method. Many recommend the gospel of John as a starting point due to its mystical reflections on the Word Made Flesh, Jesus Christ. Others prefer the Psalms, followed by the New Testament. There are still those who like to surprise themselves by opening a random page in the Bible. You can also subscribe to receive an email with daily mass readings.
TIP: It is best to set a specific time to read, reflect, and write down what God is telling us that day through scripture.
9) Wait for the Lord to speak: A moment of quieting the mind for 5 minutes, maybe closing our eyes, to place ourselves in the presence of God. Maybe using the first few seconds to say like the prophet Samuel, “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening”. And wait. Even if you don’t “hear” anything, the fact that you quiet your own pleas, demands, needs, and grievances, making yourself available to Him, is a very healthy practice.
TIP: Don’t worry if not much seems to happen at first or if you get distracted, just get back to a quiet state of mind. Eventually you will hear Him, though for most of us this mode of prayer takes a little bit of practice.
10. Intercessions: This is a very common type of prayer. And God likes it. He likes it when we pray for others: Our families, friends, enemies, coworkers, neighbors, the sick, the souls in purgatory, our government leaders, children, babies, specific people who come to mind, etc.
TIP: Throughout the day, when a person comes to your mind, immediately lift that person up in prayer. Sometimes you will know what to pray for; but when you don’t know, just say “Lord, meet this person’s need today, please”. The Holy Spirit is always looking for someone willing to pray for others.
* Petitions: God is our loving Father. He encourages us to approach Him and ask for the things we need. For our health, for a specific problem at work, for the right words to approach a family member, for a weight problem, for clarity on how to prioritize among our many responsibilities, for patience with an annoying customer, for the long term goals of our life. Just ask with faith, knowing that our Father in heaven loves to see us smile and enjoy when something is solved. And He knows that new needs will keep coming our way, so never feel that you are asking too much or too often.
TIP: Write down your petitions, and write down God’s answer to your petitions. You will be pleasantly surprised how loved you are by Him.
* Thanksgiving: Get in the habit of thanking God for the many blessings of your day: Your life, family, loved ones, friends, for your job, for your strengths, for a helpful clerk, for a sunny day, for rain, for technological advances, for medicine, for a warm sweater, for an enjoyable conversation. For faith, for teachers, for your ancestors. For a roof over your head, for an opportunity to help others.
TIP: They say that the secret to joy is cultivating a grateful heart. So this type of prayer is not only pleasing to God, it helps you love your life!