Four Ways to Pray

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 praise Him?...

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 Airplane

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 ".

 

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