Prayer is the expression of our
love of God, based on our faith and trust in Him.
There are four ways to pray. All four of them are wonderful because
prayer is our most powerful weapon; treasured by humanity for its
ability to fill us with the love, joy and peace of God. The four ways
can be performed simultaneously , individually or in any
combination….we’ll discuss them here individually for clarity.
1. Vocal Prayer: Walking to God
Praying with the mouth; saying a Psalm or the Lord's
Prayer, for example, or asking God for some need, or giving thanks or
praise to Him, or to request pardon...
It is a wonderful prayer, as it is all prayer, but it is as like walking
towards God... it takes time and effort.
It is the prayer of the leper, "if you so will, you can make me clean",
of Mark.1, with the wonderful immediate results, obtaining physical
healing. Or the one of Bartimeo, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me
", of Mark.10, with the immediate cure of his blindness... the two are
"Vocal Prayers", but also prayers of "Union with God", as we shall see.
2. Meditation: By Bicycle
This is the same but adds meditation on the words. For example: What
does it mean that God is my Father?... How can I live this wonder in my
ordinary life?... How can I give thanks to God, what is the best way to
It is a way of prayer that approaches God faster, it is like going by
bicycle... meditating on what you say when you pray a Psalm, or the
Rosary, or the Holy Mass.
Most of the Bible is Meditation, it is the Word of God teaching us His
attributes, what is life, what we must believe, and do, and pray, and
receive... it is Meditation, and for that reason we must read the Bible
praying, meditating on its content.
3. Contemplation: By Car
It is a preferred prayer of many Saints, and it is not difficult, it is
easy... and it is like going to God by Car, faster and with less effort.
"To contemplate" means "to watch", "to look"... you place yourself with
the imagination at Calvary or Bethlehem, and watch, look, contemplate...
nothing else!...... you don't have to say a word, nor think about
anything, nor meditate... simply to watch, like the sister of Lazarus
did with Jesus in Luke 10:39, "she sat down at the Lord's feet to listen
to his words"... and Jesus said about her: "Mary has chosen the better
part, and it will not be taken away from her" (Luk.10:42).
"To listen" to God is very important. The most usual prayer of the Jews
is the "Shema" of Deuteronomy 6:4-5, it is like the Lord's Prayer for
the Christians... and "Shema" means "Listen", it is the first word of
the prayer, the same one with which Jesus answered the scribe when he
asked "What is the first Commandment?", in Mark 12:28-30: Jesus answered
him with the Shema, beginning with the word "Listen" or "Hear": "Hear, O
Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one; and you shall love the Lord
your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your
mind, and with all your strength."... and this is the Shema!
In the Rosary, for example: Contemplate the Mystery while you say the
prayers, with the imagination in Getsemaní, or Bethlehem, or at the
Ascension, or at Calvary...
Saint Teresa of Avila explains that the great problem of Contemplation
is that the imagination flies immediately to another things, begins to
imagine different things, and it is necessary to hold it... and a way to
hold it, is to say the prayers of the Mystery, but always next to Jesus
or Mary, contemplating them, watching them in the respective Mystery...
and the vocal prayer serves as a brake, "to hold the imagination" in the
Mystery, and listen to what Jesus or Mary say to us...
In the Holy Mass, many contemplate it placing themselves with the
imagination at Calvary during the Mass... and just look at Jesus,
contemplate Him throughout the Mass... and in this Contemplation you
don't have to meditate on anything, simply watch, contemplate... and the
different prayers or readings or sermon of the Mass may serve "to hold
the imagination", and just listen to Jesus...
4. Prayer of "Union with God": By
This is the most sublime form to pray, the easiest, and the one we
usually practice the least. But it is like going to God by Airplane, it
is much faster, without any effort, quietly, even sleeping, someone else
will drive the plane!... and you may even receive the good meals of the
airplane, that in the prayer of Union with God are the mystical
ecstasies, or celestial visions...
Here you don't have to say a word, nor think, nor meditate, not even use
the imagination... simply Union with God... nothing, but to put yourself
in the presence of God, saying a simple word, for example "God", or
"sin", or "Jesus"... nothing else but to be with God... and that's
everything!... Maybe, after a minute you will repeat the same word... it is so
simple and effective that it's almost unbelievable!... but that's it!.
It is the prayer of Jesus when he prayed... the one Virgin Mary was
doing when Gabriel appeared to her..., the one Abraham and Moses were
doing when the Lord spoke to them... nothing else but to be with God,
and let God do everything and say everything... you just simply stay
with Him!... "thy will be done"!... always!... at evey moment and
circumstance of my life!
This is a blessed way to pray incessantly, every minute of the day, when
one gets used to it, being continuously in the presence of God...
The Psalms, the Rosary, or the Holy Mass are special opportunities of
prayer... unique moments to live in Union with God, and the different
vocal prayers or songs serve to maintain this Union with God, that soon
should extend to every minute of our life... in our sorrows or joys,
always be in Union with God, nothing else but to be with God... without
asking for anything, simply to trust God in everything, and to praise
and bless Him at every moment of the day or night, with our thoughts,
words and deeds.
Prayer is love,
the expression of our love and trust in God, to speak with God and to
listen to Him... usually we pray when we cannot do anymore... but prayer
must be the breathing of our spiritual life, the continuous palpitations
of the heart of our soul... and the easiest way, and the most important,
is to be with God, to listen to Him, to trust in Him, to let him guide
us and care for us, to let him do everything for us...
... To trust God, to have unconditional faith in Him, is the basis of
love and of prayer... to trust the wonderful and great God of ours, who is
always with us, in us, praised be God!...
... And then, yes, prayer is the fine thread that moves the powerful arm
of God, able to fill us with the joy, love and peace that only God can
give... he who has God, lacks of nothing, only God is enough!, used to
say as my friend, St. Teresa used to say.
By the way, the message of each page of the Bible can be expressed in
three words: "Trust in God ", in the Old Testament, or "Faith in Christ
" in the New one, which are almost the same... and they are the same words
that summarize the messages of the Divine Mercy: "Jesus, I trust in You