"Methods of Prayer"
Suggestions How to Begin in Prayer
Choose a time and comfortable place free from distractions where it is quiet. Perhaps a candle or crucifix, a holy card, or Icon of
Jesus or Mary or other object, or music will help you to prayerfully center.
Become quiet and center yourself. Let your breathing draw you into your center.
Be aware of being in God's presence who is within and around you,
Ask God for the grace you seek, e.g., gratitude, guidance in a decision to make or handling a problem, greater awareness of
Jesus, or sorrow for sin.
Review at the End of Prayer Awareness
What passage did I choose?
What grace did I ask for?
What was my mood, change in mood?
Where did I dwell?
What was enjoyable?
What was I feeling?
What did God teach me?
Was I faithful to the time of prayer?
Informal Prayer (saying what we mean)
Touch into what is happening interiorly — your feelings, thoughts, and concerns.
Let them surface.
Use your own words to tell God your feelings (prayer) — love, joy, sadness, anger, gratitude, praise, anxiety, or passion. Talk
about what you are feeling with God and allow God to respond. It is like carrying on a conversation with your friend.
Give thanks to God for this time.
Scripture (often called lectio divina)
It's not just about reading or study. It's listening to Scripture with your whole being— eyes, ears, imagination, mind, and
especially your heart.
Pick a passage from the Gospels, psalms, epistles, or other books of the Bible.
Find a quiet place where you're alone.
Find the most relaxed and peaceful posture.
Place yourself in God's presence— be aware of God in and around you.
Read the passage slowly; listen to the words— two or three times.
Pray the passage in one of these ways:
- Let words or phrases catch your attention, speak to your heart. Listen. Then respond to God speaking to you through the
- Close your eyes and use your imagination. Put yourself in the story. Be there. See, smell, feel, taste, listen; notice people,
sounds, colors. Are you one of the characters or an observer? Talk with Jesus or the others in the scene or with God about
what is happening in the scene. Respond ...Then be still. OR
- Read the text and let it bring to you silence, lift your heart to God. Just be there. Read it slowly again. Let it speak to you,
reflect on it. Talk to Jesus or God about it. Read it a third time: what is it saying to you; what is God trying to say to you— ask
God. How does this touch my life? Close by thanking God for this time and maybe saying the Our Father.
Journaling allows us to carry on a conversation between God and our selves and to reflect on our experiences and learn from
them. It's a sharing of the heart.
Write your thoughts, feelings, reactions; what inspires you; what insights you have;
what moves you as you pray and after you pray?
Dialogue with Jesus.
Write what you say and also Jesus' response.
Write a letter to God.
How does God respond to you?
Prayer of Quiet
We open our heart and mind to God without words, thoughts and emotions and open ourselves to God's presence. Take 20
minutes for this. You:
Choose a sacred word to symbolize your intent to consent to God's presence
and action within you, e.g. God, Jesus, love...
Find the most relaxed and peaceful posture.
Close your eyes.
Introduce the sacred word to consent to God's presence and action.
When you become aware of thoughts, emotions, imagination, return to your
sacred word very gently.
At the end of 20 minutes, remain in silence with eyes closed.
You may want to end with the Our Father.
To learn more about this method of prayer see Thomas Keating or Basil Pennington.
Examination of Consciousness
A method to reflect on your life and day in a prayerful context.
Ask the Holy Spirit to help you reflect on your day.
Recall your day; what do you thank God for today?
Give God thanks.
Recalling the day: What did you see; hear with your ears and your heart in people and in your experiences today?
Ask: What's God got to do with it?
How was God there with me?
What was positive, negative, routine, or ambiguous?
How is God calling you to respond or grow?
Ask God to help you respond.
Disposing yourself for the day
At the beginning of your day, dispose your heart for the day.
Ask yourself: What do I want to hear myself say, listen to, and see others do?
Believe that God is going to be there in your day. Be curious to know how.