There go to the very least 30 various significant kinds of prayer, and all of them have variants - so choosing a form that benefits you right now can be a complex suggestion. It might aid, however, if you think about evaluating the various prayer kinds in regards to how much initiative they need of you along 3 various axes: the degree of Verbal Effort they require, the degree of Creative or Cognitive Initiative they need, and also the degree of Volitional or Willful Initiative they call for.

Verbal Effort refers to the amount of power you have to put into creating words that you are utilizing to hope. Severe extemporaneous prayer is the most requiring prayer form along this axis. Capturing the spirit as well as the emotion of a minute in words, in order to share them back to God, requires a great deal of interior testing and also trying and suitable. Making use of collection prayers, on the other hand, such as the Book of Common Prayer, needs very little Verbal Effort.


Imaginative/Cognitive effort describes the quantity of visualization and/or assuming you need to do for the type of prayer. Ignatian prayer, for instance, relies practically completely on Creative Initiative. You start by thinking of a Scriptural occasion - commonly in the life of Jesus - as strongly as you perhaps can. After that, you placed on your own into that scenario as well as spend time until Jesus talk with you. On the other hand, praying the Jesus Prayer, “Lord Jesus, Kid of David, have mercy on me” needs very little Imaginative Effort. 

Volitional/Intentional Initiative describes the level of focus a form of prayer calls for, and also the solidity with which you need to keep your will. Focusing Prayer is the main instance of this. In Centering Prayer you make use of only one word, and also no Cognitive Initiative. In as for is feasible, you disengage from your thinking procedure and allow it run without feeding it - merely observing it. However you keep an intent prior to God to assent to whatever He wishes to operate in you. Hoping in tongues, on the other hand, needs extremely little Volitional Initiative, since you are surrendering your will about what you’re praying over and also the language you are making use of to the Holy Spirit. 


With that history, after that, several of the major kinds of prayer are: 

Extemporaneous Prayer: this is the type of prayer that those of us in evangelical practices matured with. In Extemporaneous Prayer you speak to God whatever thoughts get on your heart presently, in whatever words you desire to make use of. To do it well, and also to not fall under verbal ruts, needs one of the most Spoken Initiative of all the major prayer types. Extemporaneous Prayer calls for only marginal Imaginative Initiative, as well as moderate Volitional Effort, although the amount of Volitional Initiative it requires boosts as the amount of Verbal Initiative you take into it decreases - simply due to the fact that we end up being burnt out with constantly praying the same old phrases for the usual requests. 


Transforming Bible into Prayer: this form of prayer takes a Scripture and also reviews it back to Jesus, replacing the word “you” whenever the text refers to “Jesus” or “Him.” Basically, you are hoping the events of Jesus’ life back to Him, and telling His very own tale to Him. This kind of prayer calls for moderate Verbal Initiative, as well as marginal Volitional Effort, however it makes a moderate-to-high need on your Imaginative Effort. It’s nearly impossible to use this kind of prayer without visualizing the scene that Jesus remains in. If Ignatian prayer is excessive Creative Effort for you, this type of prayer can act as training wheels for your creative imagination. 

Set Prayers: in this type of prayer you use words that are already provided to you, such as guide of Common Prayer, the Lord’s Prayer, or the Oxford Book of Prayer, as well as put your own meaning right into them. C.S. Lewis blogged about including festoons to the Lord’s Prayer, utilizing it to direct his thoughts and to remind him what to pray for. This kind of prayer requires moderate Verbal Effort, mild-to-moderate Volitional Initiative (it can be quite uninteresting returning to the exact same words everyday), as well as modest Imaginative Effort, given that you should mean to make the words share whatever is taking place in your life currently. 


Contemplative Prayer needs reasonably high levels of Verbal Initiative, Imaginative Effort, as well as Volitional Initiative. Reflective prayer begins with the method of Lectio Divina - taking a flow of Bible as well as mulling as well as eating on it. While you do so, you are expecting the “glimmer” - the push the Holy Spirit gives you that this particular phrase is where He wishes to dive deeply with you. Then you have to expend Volitional Effort to allow that dive. 

Ignatian Prayer calls for really high levels of Creative Initiative as you imagine a scene in Jesus’ life, moderate degrees of Volitional Effort as you remain to hang with the scene till it comes to be alive, as well as practically no Verbal Effort in all. It can function as a healthy equilibrium for you if all your prayer experience is with extemporaneous prayer. 


To hope the Jesus Prayer - duplicating continuously Bartimaeus’ request of Jesus, “Lord Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me,” requires very high degrees of Volitional Effort, and little to no Verbal or Imaginative Effort. The Orthodox monks that utilize this kind of prayer work up to repeating it 3000 times a day; it becomes for them the means they “hope without ceasing.” As you end up being more and more skilled at it, you’ll find that the Jesus Prayer becomes a carrier wave on which you can lift your various other prayers to heaven. You’ll likewise locate that it replaces the self-talk as well as tapes you are running in your head. 

The Rosary calls for reduced Verbal Effort, and also mild-to-moderate Volitional Initiative (more initiative when you begin the practice, less initiative as you become accustomed to it), as well as reasonably high Creative Initiative as you meditate on the Mysteries of Jesus’ life with each decade. The Rosary has the benefit of being possibly the earthiest of prayer forms: you’re hoping concerning wombs and children as well as contemplating real physical events. It can work as a superb restorative to purely cognitive techniques to God. 


Cloud of Unknowing/Centering Prayer calls for one of the most Volitional Power. It’s described as “sitting before God with your naked intent,” and also as “the prayer of purpose, not focus.” This form of prayer trusts the Daddy to manage your partnership with Him; its sole function is growth in your experience of your union with God. It requires no Verbal or Imaginative Initiative.

If among these forms of prayer seems particularly attractive, give it a try. That tourist attraction could be a leading that the Holy Spirit is giving you. All the same, you may keep this in the rear of your mind. Sometimes when we’re going through a dry spot, using a various kind of prayer can be handy as well as refreshing.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter