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What does the Catholic Church say prayer is?
Prayer is a formal request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God; an earnest hope or wish. Prayer is both a gift of grace and a determined response on our part and also a communication process that allows us to speak with God. Adherents, most often than not, come to the Lord with legitimate requests for healing, change and/or needs.This is done more regularly than being in the presence of God, asking for forgiveness or expressing our thanks for another day of our lives, praying for those who do not have that blessing. Just as Mother Theresa quotes;
“Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts.”

What are the various forms of praying as practiced by Christians?
There are three main forms of praying that are practiced within the Church by Christians. These include;
Private prayer
Communal prayer
Liturgical prayer

Private prayer is the most important part of prayer as God wants a personal relationship with each and everyone one of us. Praying in private allows adherents to strengthen their relationship with and become closer to Him. But to achieve this, they must remember not to put on a show for anyone, as this form of prayer is for God, and only Him.

Communal prayer is just as important as private prayer, however, it strengthens not only our personal relationship with God, but with each other as a community. Praying as a community nourishes and sustains adherent lives, uniting in prayer which creates a oneness of mind, heart and soul.

Liturgical prayer is seemingly the same as Communal prayer, though follows prescribed ritual traditions. A prayer for the salvation of the world, this type of prayer includes not only prescribed texts, but also gestures, garments, symbols and materials such as bread and wine.

Describe the types of prayer that Christians use and for what purpose.
Blessing - A prayer that appeals to God, asking for His power and care to be placed upon a person, place, object or promise. This prayer acknowledges the source of all blessings comes from God. Some blessings even grant a permanent status: dedication of adherents to God.

Adoration - The acceptance of God as God, creator and Saviour, the Lord and Master of everything that exists. Adoration, which is the first act of the integrity of Religion, is shown through the Church and individuals’ reverence and prayer to God. Also stated in the First commandment, the law obliges adherents to adore Him.
Praise - This form (or prayer), focuses on presenting God with the recognition and glory for who he is. Thanksgiving and praise to the Father is also done by the whole Church during the liturgy, together with Christ.

Thanksgiving - Simply means thanking Our Father for the people, goods, experiences or even life itself.

Petition - Adherents often ask for things when praying, and when it comes out of genuine need, this very common type of prayer can be really heart-felt.

Intercession - Another form of prayer of petition on behalf of others, leading adherents to pray as Christ, our unique intercessor. This form of prayer can also be done when asking an individual or community to pray for us (intercede) on our behalf to God.

Provide examples of each type of prayer and nominate where they could appropriately be used and in which liturgical setting or context.
Prayer of Praise, Petition and Adoration - "Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, and the power, and the glory are yours - now and forever."
‘Our Father’ is a very well-known prayer throughout the entire Christian community. This prayer can be used in all liturgical settings as it is the most common to be used when praying as an entire community. However, we must remember not to pray ‘Our Father’ because we know it, rather for the meaning behind it, as it gives praise and adores God, while also asking for guidance and aid on our journey of life.

Prayer of Intercession - ‘Father of goodness and love, hear our prayers for the sick members of our community and for all who are in need. Amid mental and physical suffering may they find consolation in your healing presence. Show your mercy as you close wounds, cure illness, make broken bodies whole and free downcast spirits. May these special people find lasting health and deliverance, and so join us in thanking you for all your gifts. We ask this through the Lord Jesus who healed those who believed. Amen.’
This prayer can be presented during a liturgical setting for those in the Christian community whom are sick mentally, physically, psychologically or those poor in spirit. Or in a more private liturgy of the seven sacraments such as ‘Anointing of the Sick’.

References (2016). Prayer (Biblical), What is it? • WebBible Encyclopedia • ChristianAnswers.Net. [online] Available at: [Accessed 29 Feb. 2016]. (2016). Prayer: What Is Prayer? | Fathers For Good. [online] Available at: [Accessed 29 Feb. 2016]. (2016). Communal Prayer. [online] Available at: [Accessed 3 Mar. 2016]. (2016). The meaning of prayer in the life of the Christian.. [online] Available at: [Accessed 3 Mar. 2016].
Online, C. (2016). Prayer for the Sick - Prayers - Catholic Online. [online] Available at: [Accessed 29 Feb. 2016]. (2016). Liturgical Prayer. [online] Available at: [Accessed 3 Mar. 2016]. (2016). Public Prayer and Private Prayer. [online] Available at: [Accessed 5 Mar. 2016]. (2016). Catechism of the Catholic Church - The battle of prayer. [online] Available at: [Accessed 29 Feb. 2016].

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