What is prayer?Praying is a process in which a person directs his concentration to his thoughts, where he creates a channel to communicate with God and the saints, and in this way, take all his prayers to them. It is known as a very common activity among devotees of Christianity and Catholicism, and in this article, we will learn more about this term.
We are going to understand what are the different forms of prayer that exist, as well as some doubts normally associated with this practice. To begin, we will define what it means to pray to God.
When we speak of praying to God, we refer to the bond that a person creates with him to communicate all his prayers and thanks. Generally speaking, speakers go through this process with their eyes closed, shouting everything they want to make known to God. However, in some cases people do it mentally.
Praying to God is creating a communion with him, where people make, individually or in groups, a request to God. Sometimes, prayers can also be made to thank for a miracle, or also to recognize certain qualities, that is, worship God or Christ.
It is said that praying to God provides different contributions to a person’s life, as long as they do it frequently and sincerely, that is, with faith and conviction:
- Maintains their bond with God: These people perceive the hand in their daily life, so they feel blessed, and in this sense, worthy of joy.
- Coping Tool: Believers turn to God when they are overwhelmed by complex circumstances. Those who remain in prayer towards God, will be able to find the will and the necessary strength to face any situation that arises.
- Peace: Constant communion with God gives a feeling of peace, since people perceive themselves as complete in their spiritual dimension. A virtue that allows them to have a strong and resistant stability.
Praying to God is thus a practice in which people manage to maintain a constant and intimate relationship with God. In this they become, in addition to the benefits already mentioned, other aspects such as the solution of internal problems, spiritual well-being, personal growth, etc.
For this reason, praying to God is one of the most typical habits of people who belong, for example, to the Catholic religion. However, each religion tells and explains its own processes for praying, since the Christian, unlike the Catholic, differs significantly from the methods that the Catholic proposes for prayer.
According to the Bible
Although we will not find a conceptual definition of prayer in the Bible, undoubtedly, we can find multiple approaches related to this process. In Matthew 6: 7, we can read:
“When praying, do not say the same things over and over again, as do the people of the nations, because they imagine that by their use of many words they will make themselves heard. Well then, do not become similar to them, because God the Father of his knows what things you need even before you ask for them ”.
Although the foregoing may be somewhat redundant for some, the definition does not hurt, since, at times, praying is confused with praying, which results in a wrong association. In this sense, one of the first approaches of the Bible is to correctly define prayer.
Prayer should be characterized as a sincere and spontaneous act, where the person creates their own verses with which to communicate towards God.
In the reading of Jeremiah 29 12:13, we will find: “Then you will call on me, and you will come and pray to me, and I will hear you; and you will seek me and find me, because you will seek me with all your heart “
When the prayer is not performed correctly, specifically, without proper words and a sincere feeling, the person is only repeating vain words, therefore, God will not pay attention to any of his prayers. There the importance of recognizing the true meaning of prayer.
In the spirit
Praying in the Spirit consists of making the Spirit the guide of prayer, making it the one that brings life to it and, in turn, brings it to God. When a person succeeds in praying in this way, he will find a sense of freedom, warmth, and sharing in prayer.
The Spirit will direct the prayer, becoming the channel between the prayers and God. For this, it is used to move the heart, illuminate the mind and give freedom of expression during prayer. The Spirit is, in short, responsible for bringing prayers to life.
When the expression “pray in” is analyzed, it is possible to find a variety of meanings. However, the most important thing is to understand that “praying in the Spirit” is not a literal expression. This refers to “with the help of,” or it may also refer to “by means of.”
Reading Romans 8:26, we find that “And in the same way the Spirit helps us in our weakness, because what we should ask as appropriate, we do not know, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with unspeakable groans.” The Spirit is, then, a tool that the speaker must use to correctly guide his prayer.
And what is praying?
We have already seen that praying is not the same as praying. For its part, praying is a ritual process in which a person performs a series of pre-elaborated prayers, which are commonly repeated during prayer. The term to pray comes from the Latin recitare, which constitutes “re”, which denotes reiteration, and “citare”, a verb that translates as “to quote someone”.
People pray to pay tribute and communicate with divine entities of different religions. This practice is also usually done for prayers, or even as part of a routine of worship towards a specific deity. Prayers can be as long as to take less than a minute, or as long as to take 20 minutes.
Likewise, the prayers can also vary according to the liturgy in question, so some may include the use of objects as part of an offering or representation. Another aspect that may vary is the way of praying, which can be through speech, or through thought respectively.
One of the most distinctive features between praying and praying is that prayers can, on occasions, be led by a person, as part of a ritual in which there is a higher authority figure, who will be in charge of segmenting the ritual . Praying, on the other hand, does not require a structure in terms of roles to be carried out.
It should also be noted that in prayers it is very common for people to perform certain body movements as part of symbols. One of the most common, in Catholicism, is the use of the so-called sign of the cross, in which a person begins the prayers recognizing the entities to which he will address his words.
In the same way, some prayers are usually made in specific places, such as churches, in the case of the Catholic religion. When this is not possible, a small altar is used, where people worship during their prayers. This must be accompanied by an image to which all the words are directed.
Praying without ceasing may seem like a somewhat far-fetched expression, but it is all about correctly understanding its meaning. When we speak of praying without ceasing, we are referring to a constant communication with God, in which we never stop offering prayers for him.
But how is this possible? Prayer, unlike prayers, does not require conditions to be carried out. At the same time, it is worth remembering that sentences can be done mentally, that is, without having to say any words about them.
When people pray without ceasing, they are surrendering each and every aspect of their life to God. This occurs because they are entrusting all the moments of their existence to it.
To pray without ceasing, people only need to keep their thoughts always centered on God, recognizing themselves as their only leader and, thus, always maintaining an intimate and unique relationship with him. It is for this reason that praying without ceasing is often referred to as “the prayer that happens again.”
In the reading of Thessalonians 5:17, we can find: “Pray without ceasing”, as part of Paul’s commandments. This verse explains why many people give themselves up to prayer without ceasing, becoming God from the first to the last moment of his days.
Praying without ceasing is, in this way, one of the most common practices in Christianity today. This allows its practitioners to maintain a communion with God at all times, regardless of the situation, the moment, or the conditions in which they may find themselves in this regard.
Praying fervently is a prayer that is done with the utmost conviction and faith. It is a practice carried out by people with a high level of devotion, who yearn to receive a specific blessing. It is also possible to find cases where praying with fervor is done only for the purpose of paying tribute to a God.
In the reading of James 5:17, we find that: “Elijah was a man subject to passions similar to ours, and he prayed fervently that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months.” An example is illustrated of prayer that is done with fervor, which is blessed when it is really based on conviction.
The prayers with fervor are carried out for strong requests, that is, those that require a miracle, a really drastic change in reality. These can be done in a group, and in general, they can be repeated day after day. Notably, they can be spread over long periods of time.
Unlike what we have previously understood as prayer without ceasing, praying fervently requires an exclusive moment, in which the person concentrates only on his prayers, creating a unique bond with God from his prayer. Only then will he be able to find the results he desires through his prayers.
Praying in tongues is spontaneously using an unknown language to carry out a prayer. It can be said that it is a unique event, in which not even the person himself can understand what is happening. Praying in tongues is considered to occur because the supernatural power of God has fallen upon the spirit of the person praying.
In these cases, it is said that the person must let his mind be guided by his Spirit, since the first instance will not be able to understand what is happening, but the Spirit, for its part, will achieve it. This will act as a compass, leading the prayer on the right path, progressively bringing light and balance.
Depending on the religion consulted, the explanation of the prayer in tongues may vary. For example, the Catholic religion suggests that the gift of praying in tongues is a miracle that the Holy Spirit believes in whom he tries to connect with God.
When this occurs, it is said that the miracle that is requested through prayer may be about to occur. At the same time, prayer in tongues creates a powerful bond with God, which becomes more and more source as the person’s mind allows his Spirit to direct his body during this event.
As can be seen, praying is a practice that can take various forms depending on the approach and the religion from which the analysis is made. Each case shows different procedures and names. However, the end seems to be the same in all exemplified: to reach the world of the non-earthly to connect with God.
- (2021). What is praying in tongues? King Jesus. Recovered from: https://www.elreyjesus.org/predicas/leer/que-es-orar-en-lenguas
- Meyes, J. (2021). How to pray in the Holy Spirit. Teogracia. Recovered from: https://teogracia.com/como-orar-en-el-espiritu-santo/#:~:text=Orar%20en%20el%20Esp%C3%ADritu%20es,da%20vida%20a%20la % 20oraci% C3% B3n. & Text = Pray% 20in% 20el% 20Esp% C3% ADritu% 20means, and% 20the% 20sense% 20del% 20exchange.
- (2021). Fervent prayer What is fervent prayer? Learnly. Recovered from: https://aprenderly.com/doc/3319468/la-oraci%C3%B3n-ferviente-a.-%C2%BFqu%C3%A9-es-la-oraci%C3%B3n-ferviente%3F