Since the days of Christ, prayer has always played a deeply integral part in the Christian life.
And over the last two-thousand years, many practices and forms of prayer have been developed.
Here are 5 different types of Christian prayers you can incorporate into your prayer life.
When Abraham was called by God, the nature of prayer changed forever.
For centuries, ancient pagans such as the Sumerians and other ancient civilizations pleaded with their myriad of false gods for favor in various aspects of their lives.
Prayer was little more than a magical incantation designed to please a false god in order to gain a desired outcome in the area which that god was believed to have power over.
Prayer changed forever with Abraham into something real, as it was now possible for one who followed Yahweh (the Hebrew name for God) to talk to a deity who was not simply over one aspect of life, but all-powerful and all-knowing.
How does this, then, lead to a discussion of the different forms of Christian prayer?
Well, as prayer changed from a sort of magical incantation designed to influence the will of false gods, and instead became an actual conversation and relationship with the one true God designed to conform our will to His, new types of prayer emerged.
Christians still find themselves looking to God to provide for their needs and we often ask God to deal with the struggles we face.
But instead of viewing our prayer as a tool to get God to act how we want Him to, it is much more a way for us to simply cast our concerns, cares, and needs on Him instead of letting them burden us alone.
Here are several ways we can pray this way.
1. The Centering or Contemplative Prayer
When you find yourself at a loss of what to do or who you are, you can employ the centering prayer.
This prayer is a type of contemplative prayer (a prayer which focuses the mind on one thing) and involves the quiet repetition of a simple truth, often a truth found in scripture such as Psalm 139:14, “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”
The practice of this prayer focuses the mind on the fact that the existence of the individual is no accident or flaw, God created the person and loves them as they are. The circumstances they face are part of His plan, and His plan is good.
2. The Breath Prayer
Oftentimes we find it difficult to simply slow down our minds enough to even meditate on God’s truths as our emotions run wild and scatter our thoughts.
In this situation, you can employ the breath prayer.
This is a simple but effective prayer which focuses on two things, a need and a corresponding attribute of God’s identity. A person practicing the breath prayer breathes in while speaking an aspect of God’s identity and breathes out while speaking their need.
One such form of this prayer could be, “Father God, be with me now.” Repeating this emphasizes both God’s identity as Father and the Christian’s need for the Father’s comfort.
Praying as you consciously breathe can help slow the mind and emotions to focus on God’s truth.
3. Communal Prayers
Christians often pray in a group setting.
As Christians, our prayers are not designed to manipulate God to change, but to conform our own hearts to His will.
When we pray for others in a group setting, we are hearing the needs and struggles of our brothers and sisters in Christ, and our hearts grow in compassion and love for them, thus conforming to God’s heart for them.
4. The Partner Prayer
There is also the one-on-one partner prayer. It works in much the same way as communal prayers, but in a more intimate setting and relationship as we pray for each other.
You may do this with your spouse or an accountability partner or just someone at church who is in need of prayer. It is designed to bring us in closer relationship with each other and conform our hearts for that person to God’s heart for them.
5. The Listening Prayer
Lastly, there is the listening prayer. Whereas the other forms of prayer involve the Christian vocalizing towards God, this form of prayer has the Christian remain silent while God speaks.
This prayer requires a lot of discipline and a quiet mind. As well, the Christian is best served in finding a quiet place to pray to minimize the amount of external noise.
Take these five forms of prayer and incorporate them into your personal devotion, your group bible studies, and your daily life.
Use them to enhance your relationship with God and broaden your range of communication with the Father.
Also, share this article so others can read and practice these forms of prayer!