Forms of Prayer

Prayer is essential in the life of a Catholic and this conversation with God has been continually expressed through five basic forms in the Church: blessing, petition, intercession, thanksgiving, and praise.

Knowing that God is the source of everything, Catholics acknowledge that they depend on his blessings and rely on his grace by saying prayers of adoration and by offering blessings back to Him.

In prayers of petition, Catholics ask for God’s help with every physical and spiritual need, including asking for forgiveness and attaining holiness.

Catholics also pray for the needs of others, including their enemies, asking on their behalf through prayers of intercession.

In appreciation for everything that God does and for every event He makes happen, Catholics offer prayers of thanksgiving, even in times of disappointment and suffering.

Through prayers of praise, Catholics focus their attention on the goodness of God, giving him honor and glory, not for what He has done, but for who He is.

Guided by the Holy Spirit and revealed in Sacred Scripture, these different forms of prayer provide a foundation for several liturgical prayers and spiritual devotions, and should inspire the personal prayer of Catholics.

Five ways to turn to the Lord in prayer:

The Religion Teacher

First of all, then, I ask that supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone, for kings and for all in authority, that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity.

1 Timothy 2: 1-2

Different prayers for different circumstances:

Salford Diocese

Balancing prayer life with all forms of prayer:

Diocese of Allentown

The Holy Spirit who teaches the Church and recalls to her all that Jesus said also instructs her in the life of prayer, inspiring new expressions of the same basic forms of prayer: blessing, petition, intercession, thanksgiving, and praise.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 2644

Forms of prayer inspired by the Holy Spirit:

Formal ways to pray together during Mass:

Fr. Joel Hastings

St Thomas Aquinas, one of the greatest theologians of history, defines prayer as “an expression of man’s desire for God”. This attraction to God, which God himself has placed in man, is the soul of prayer, that then takes on a great many forms, in accordance with the history, the time, the moment, the grace and even the sin of every person praying. Man’s history has in fact known various forms of prayer, because he has developed different kinds of openness to the “Other” and to the Beyond, so that we may recognize prayer as an experience present in every religion and culture.

Pope Benedict XVI, General Audience, 11 May 2011

The beauty of informal prayer:

Bridgeport Diocese

The spontaneous prayer of a relationship:

Ascension Presents

The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of the Catholic Church

Helping people in need:

Knights of Columbus Supreme Council

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