By Vinita, based on Praying the Way Jesus Prayed
In chapter 3 of Praying the Way Jesus Prayed, Fr. Mark Link identifies types of people who especially relate to specific aspects of prayer:
Realists relate to lectio, or the reading phase of prayer.
Intellectuals relate to meditatio, or the thinking phase.
Free Spirits relate most easily to oratio, the speaking part of prayer.
Idealists relate best to contemplatio, the listening phase.
This insight is helpful because it can explain us a bit to ourselves. Some people just naturally enjoy praying aloud, whether alone or in a group. Those of us not as comfortable with that can feel somewhat inferior to those more articulate people. We also might feel out of our league around a natural intellectual, who can’t read Scripture without truly analyzing it and breaking open the meaning to the rest of us.
And what about the person who is quiet most of the time, but when she does speak—wow! We realize that we’re in the presence of wisdom. Other people seem to read ten times the books the rest of us read; we wonder how to keep up with them.
But we don’t have to “keep up.” God is waiting for us to find the place where prayer is for us the most profound and compelling. These tendencies of ours are gifts to be valued and used. Of course it’s important to work with the forms of prayer that don’t come so naturally. But God has appointed some of us bookworms, others to stare off into space, others to articulate meaning, and still others to speak out.
See how much we need one another! See how many ways the Holy Spirit moves among us!
Identify the aspect of prayer that comes to you most naturally: reading, thinking, speaking, or listening. Then plan regular times for that very thing over the next several days. During those prayer times, thank God for how you have been gifted to pray. And use that gift with enthusiasm.
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