The Five Types of Prayer

The Five Types of Prayer

Prayer is a form of communication, a way of talking to God or to the saints. Not all prayers are the same, however. Here are brief descriptions of the five major types of prayer.

1. Adoration
In prayers of adoration or worship, we praise the greatness of God, and we acknowledge our dependence on him in all things. The Mass and the other liturgies of the Church are full of prayers of this sort, such as the Gloria (or Glory to God). Among private prayers, the Act of Faith is a prayer of adoration.

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2. Expiation
In a prayer of expiation or contrition, we acknowledge our sinfulness and ask God for His forgiveness and mercy. The Confiteor or Penitential Rite at the beginning of Mass, and the Agnus Dei (orLamb of God) before Communion, are prayers of expiation, as is the Act of Contrition.


3. Love
Prayers of love or charity are just that—expressions of our love for God, the source and object of all love. The Act of Charity is perhaps the best example of a prayer of love.

4. Petition
Prayers of petition are the type of prayer with which we are most familiar. In them, we ask God for things we need—primarily spiritual needs, but physical ones as well. Our prayers of petition should always include a statement of our willingness to accept God’s Will, whether He directly answers our prayer or not. The Our Father is a good example of a prayer of petition, and the line “Thy will be done” shows that, in the end, we acknowledge that God’s plans for us are more important than what we desire.


5. Thanksgiving
Perhaps the most neglected type of prayer is prayer of thanksgiving. WhileGrace Before Meals is a good example of a prayer of thanksgiving, we should get into the habit of thanking God throughout the day for the good things that happen to us and to others.
By Scott P. Richert

Arinze Ani


  1. Jen Rhoades
    Oct 20, 2015 @ 09:01:41

    I love how this reminds us that prayers, as a means of communicating with God, are meant to be said in different ways depending on what one really has to say, admit, request or how one can express gratitude for all that God showers upon us, His creation. Sadly, too many seem to forget how to pray and are only reminded when feeling down or are asking for something.


  2. Philip R. Hernaez
    Oct 27, 2015 @ 10:53:56

    nice article.


  3. alexandra
    Nov 23, 2015 @ 06:27:08

    Thank you


  4. ashimas masih
    Dec 21, 2015 @ 13:49:24

    Thanks for posting


  5. clara
    Dec 22, 2015 @ 13:28:44

    My favourite prayers are those of No 5, there is so much to be thankful for that it dwarfs most other challenges one is facing in life.I remember that quote that sys if you keep your fce to the sunshine you would barely see the shadows.


  6. heaven heart
    Dec 22, 2015 @ 15:02:33

    thank you for this teachings.l am blessed after reading this Articles.


    • norma mojares
      Oct 31, 2016 @ 06:43:44

      These 5 forms of prayer, we are taught, can be done in ACT prayer: First is Adoration … praising God; Second, Contrition … asking for forgiveness, and, Third, Thanksgiving … thanking God in a daily basis for God’s blessings, whatever they are.


  7. Michael Bamie Tucker
    Dec 26, 2015 @ 20:17:27

    I thank you very for keeping me in tune with my Almighty God


  8. Ziad
    Dec 27, 2015 @ 15:41:38

    Thank you God bless you


  9. david okwy
    Jul 28, 2016 @ 00:56:53

    That’s indeed a good prayer arrangement however, mine goes in line with the acronym “ACTS” which implies; Adoration, Contrition, Thanks giving and Supplication.


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