“Prayer is an act of love; words are not needed. Even if sickness distracts from thoughts, all that is needed is the will to love.” Saint Teresa of Avila
"God speaks in the silence of the heart. Listening is the beginning of prayer." Mother Teresa
Prayer is not only a language of love, but one of the deepest ways we can commune with God. The disciples once begged Jesus to teach them to pray. John the Baptist had taught his disciples a special prayer and Jesus’ disciples wanted to learn as well.
Jesus had a habit of going away from his disciples when he prayed (See Luke 3:21; 5:16; 6:12; 9:18; 9:29). Perhaps, they thought Jesus knew special words, gestures, and postures that helped him connect with God. So Jesus met their curiosity with swift instruction.
He prayed aloud. (Luke 11:2-4 )
“Jesus said to them, ‘When you pray, say: 'Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us. And do not bring us to the time of trial.'”
It was short and simple— and a prayer Christains throughout the world pray every day. More than likely, if the disciples had asked Jesus again how to pray, Jesus would have offered many other ways to connect with God. There is not one way to pray or one right way to pray.
Want to connect with God in new and creative ways? Check out these great resources!
Breath prayer is an ancient Christian prayer practice dating back to at least the sixth century. Historically, it is associated with the Eastern Church, particularly Greek and Russian Orthodox churches.Known as the “Jesus Prayer” or “Prayer of the Heart,” early practitioners would repeat to the rhythm of their breath the phrase, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.” In time, the prayer was shortened to, “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy” or simply, “Jesus, mercy.” https://gravitycenter.com/practice/breath-prayer/
Centering Prayer is a receptive method of Christian silent prayer that prepares us to receive the gift of contemplative prayer, prayer in which we experience God’s presence within us, closer than breathing, closer than thinking, closer than consciousness itself.
Think of the Ignatian Method of prayer—named after Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556)—as a sort of virtual experience of the scripture where you read the scripture and then create in your mind a short film about what you read. http://spiritual-direction.com/soul-journeying/soul-invitations/the-prayer-of-examen/
Lectio Divina, literally meaning “divine reading,” is an ancient practice of praying the Scriptures. During Lectio Divina, the practitioner listens to the text of the Bible with the “ear of the heart,” as if he or she is in conversation with God, and God is suggesting the topics for discussion. https://www.contemplativeoutreach.org/lectio-divina-contemplation/
Resources For Daily Prayer
Pray As You Go - Daily Prayers w/ music, prayer and meditation
Daily Texts, Morovian Church - Daily scripture and prayer
Upper Room Daily Devotions - Free or subscription options
Oremus - Daily prayer and worship