Vocal Prayer (Prayer Part II)

Vocal Prayer…. ( Prayer Part II)
Continuing on our examination of prayer, we move into the varied parts of prayer.. and examine some of its components and forms.

The first type of prayer is vocal prayer. Within the realm of vocal prayer there are different forms of this type.

First, there is wrote prayer.  These are the prayers that are most often taught to us from infancy, the blessings before meals, and our prayers before bed.  There are the prayers we learn through religious education channels, or other formative processes.
There are the prayers we use as part of our Mass or prayer services usually done within a community of some form or other.

Let us examine for a moment what this means for us, and how we are effected through our use of this type of prayer.

At various stages of our religious developement this type of prayer can me the most common, and most used.  THis occurs particularly in the early stages of spiritual developement.  In particular it gives new Christians a starting point, through which they can begin to work on exploring their relationship to God, and to others.

Using this type of prayer, also gives us a sense of community.  We all are praying the same prayers, with the same words, with the same gestures, with the same basic intent.  We get the feeling that we belong, to our family, to our faith community, to our brothers and sisters throughout the world.    That sense of community is important for us on so many levels.

For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother.”  ( Matthew 12:50) … Our Mothers brothers and sisters are those who also part of our faith community, Not to mention, those who are not yet part of our faith communities but who are still in need of our love, and prayer, and works of charity.

Wrote prayer has its place of honor amongst the varied types of prayer, and it has its own challenges.  Primary amongst these challenges is the challenge that it particularly can, if permitted, become habit, a formed action performed without the need for thought, or the need for any type of active particpation short of the muscle memory needed to recite the words, and blindly going through the process of the prayers.

It has a danger of becoming the habit of doing “the thing” for the sake of doing “the thing” to participate in the action because it is what is expected, or what is required, or something of the same line.   Possibly it is because you say these things so often, that the words loose their meaning, in the process of the action.

Everyone falls into this process at some point or other.  It is our challenge to become aware of this situation and work on the process of bringing ourselves back into the mystery of prayer.

We should, particularly at Holy Mass come with the idea and work at the practice of what we call “Full and Active” participation at Mass.  This means that we prepare, we arrive early, we pay attention, We work at our mental and spiritual involvement of every part of the Mass.

Pay attention to what is going on, what is being said, the words of the prayers, your own participation in those prayers.  It is not something you will be perfect at, yet it is in the striving towards our relationship in prayer that draws us closer to God.

Even the simple prayer of the blessing before meals, should give us pause to consider the things we are saying, the things we are asking, the offering we are giving. the supplecation the sacrifice, and the prayer we have entered.

Until next time…
May God give you the gift of His peace..


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