We all understand the importance of prayer in our Christian lives and we all try to find, at some point, a routine that facilitates our communication with God. There are many ways to approach prayer and hundreds of books, retreats, videos, etc. on how to pray and/or talk to God.
In today’s blog, 6 different types of prayer out of 12 are briefly mentioned, just 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.
* Praise: Praising God for His greatness, His majesty, His creation, for who He IS, could be one of the forms of prayer that bring most benefits to our soul and, in turn, to our minds and bodies. People who praise God recognize His sovereignty, and those people are usually full of joy and hope. Why? Because they get to recognize the greatness and goodness of a God in whom they trust and depend.
TIP: St. Francis of Assisi composed amazing praise hymns, as did St. Thomas Aquinas.
* Sing to the Lord: “He who sings, prays twice”. Music alone brings many benefits to our brains, and praying with a song is definitely a winning combination that opens both our mind and spirit.
TIP: For fresh and inspiring prayer songs, listen to a young composer and singer whose name is Rita West.
* Spiritual warfare: In the words of Linda Schubert, The Bible reminds us that there are negative spiritual forces that can exert a controlling influence in our lives and diminish our capacity to be free, open, and loving people. If we place ourselves under the protection of God and his angels, we can stop those influences.
TIP: The prayer to St. Michael the Archangel is a great example of a spiritual warfare prayer.
* Surrender: It is very important in our life to say “Yes” to God and align our will with his through prayer. When we surrender our worries, our families, our finances, our careers to God, we stop getting in His way and we allow Him to act in our behalf and to show us His method of solving our problems.
TIP: This prayer of St. Ignatius will help you get started in surrendering your life to Our Heavenly Father.
* Release of the Holy Spirit: In John 16:7 Jesus told his disciples “But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you”. So that was THE promise. But, as in anything and everything related to God, the Holy Spirit will not come to us unless we receive him intentionally. That’s why we must pray continually to the Holy Spirit and invite him into our lives.
TIP: Get into the habit of asking the Holy Spirit for his gifts and for the fruits that come from living out these gifts. For example, the gift of wisdom before you give advice to a loved one. By growing in the gifts, you will find yourself living the fruits of the Spirit: you will find yourself being kinder or more patient.
* Repentance: When we find that we need to recognize our shortcomings and ask for forgiveness, a sincere prayer of repentance is useful. Not to dwell in our flaws, but rather to lovingly throw ourselves at the feet of Jesus, allowing Him to return our peace and strengthen our will to resist temptation.
TIP: Jesus knew all along that we would make mistakes and that’s why we can always turn to Him in prayer, followed by a good confession.