What is prayer?

Prayer can be described as:
  • a desire to connect with a higher source, with God
  • a conversation with God
  • a getting in touch with our deeper self
  • a search for the more
  • poetry, art, music
  • a request for help or guidance
  • a moment of awe
  • an expression of gratitude

Why pray?

Prayer is a way of deepening our relationship with God and of discovering our own giftedness. Our relationship with God needs to be nourished in order to deepen. Some of the ways that we can nurture this relationship include:
  • reflection on our experience
  • moments of silence
  • times of stillness
  • reflection on Scripture
  • connection with nature

How do I do it?

In this section, we provide outlines of some of the many ways that you can nourish your spirit.

  • Try a method for a couple of weeks to see if it fits, if it works for you.
  • Try a new practice each month and share your experience with others.

Prayer Tools

Click on the links below to learn more about these tools for your prayer life:

The Daily Examen is a technique of prayerful reflection on the events of the day in order to detect God’s presence and discern God’s direction for us. It is based on a technique described by Ignatius Loyola in his Spiritual Exercises.

In this form of prayer we seek to reflect - thoughtfully seeking the understanding of the ways of God. A lot of our intellectual faculty is used in this prayer, which progresses from one proposition to another until we arrive at a logical conclusion or an ethical demand. We use this prayer with the final end of a change of heart and action in our lives...

Franciscan prayer incorporates distinctive elements and themes. This form of prayer is a free-flowing, spontaneous, informal praising and loving dialogue with God. It uses the five senses to appreciate all that we see, hear, smell and taste in our lives at work, study and rest.

Receiving ashes
Lent is a Christian Season of preparation for Easter that reflects on the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness fasting and praying in preparation for his ministry. We also prepare by fasting, praying, and by charitable gifts and/or actions in order to return to God more deeply. Our goal is to become closer to God, our neighbour and ourselves, through the life, teachings, suffering and death of Jesus Christ as well as in solidarity with the poor.
This method of using imagination in prayer asks us to bring the Biblical scene into our present time. St. Augustine of Hippo (today called Annaba, on the coast of Algeria) was a great Fifth Century African Doctor of the Church.
This method of using imagination in prayer asks us to place ourselves back in time into the Biblical scene. Use your senses to imagine what you might see, hear, feel, taste, and/or smell. St. Ignatius, founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuit Order), “encouraged people to develop an intimate relationship with God who loves them and desires the best for them.” It seeks to find the truth of our heart and not just the truth of facts.
Photo by Michael Dave Dizon
There are many ways of using our imagination in prayer.  Praying with Scripture helps us to reflect on God’s word to us.  Our God given creativity can allow us to delve more deeply into God’s message.  For example, we can use our imagination to project ourselves back into the time of the passage or bring the passage forward into our own lives.
You can pray any time, and anywhere! Here are some suggestions, however, for setting a mood which may help.
The Rosary
The rosary is a form of structured prayer that can be said alone or with others, out loud or in silence. While praying the rosary we are invited to meditate on the mysteries of our salvation through Jesus.
Hands folded in prayer

The Prayer of Request or Prayer of Intercession is asking God in our own words for what we need or desire for ourselves or others. It is interceding with God for our family, our friends, and the world.

Photo by Michael Dave Dizon
Lectio Divina is a way to use Scripture to engage in a conversation with God and to reflect on how God's word connects with your daily life.
A purple rose.

Pausing to be grateful for the gifts that you have received in your life, in your week, in your day. Giving thanks to God the Creator.

This short, written exercise is to assist you in expressing your thoughts and feelings. It is also a way of deepening your relationship with God. It provides you with a way of recording your ongoing spiritual development.