Evangelization & Missionary Discipleship

“If the lungs of prayer and of the Word of God do not nourish the breath of spiritual life, we risk suffocating in the midst of a thousand daily cares. Prayer is the breath of the soul and of life.”

— Pope Benedict XVI

Prayer is essential to evangelization because it is through prayer that we come to know God and ourselves more deeply and how God calls us to share Him with others. In prayer we grow in relationship with Jesus. A life of prayer includes individual prayer, praying with your community at Mass and services, and praying before gatherings, meals, meetings, workshops, etc. It is important that we make room for God’s presence by giving time and focus to prayer time together and intentionally inviting the Holy Spirit to be with us when we gather.

Another powerful form of prayer is intercessory prayer. When we pray for or with someone, putting words to their needs, we are advocating on their behalf to God, accompanying them in their faith journey. When we are willing to ask someone to pray with us or for us, we trust in the power of community and that we are not alone on this journey.

Personal prayer is also essential. In an ever-changing world, we need extended time alone with Jesus to get to know him and to get comfortable with sharing who he is with others. When we engage in personal prayer, we do just that, deepen our relationship with Jesus as we would any friend we spend time with. And we also connect more deeply with who we are, who God calls us to be. Below we have put together information on prayer to help each of us understand the forms and expressions of prayer, as well as online resources to help in our communal and personal prayer life.


The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that “prayer is the raising of one’s mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God,” (CCC 2559). With that in mind, there are five primary forms of prayer: blessing and adoration, petition, intercession, thanksgiving and praise. And there are three expressions of prayer: vocal prayer, meditation and contemplative prayer.

Vocal Prayer

Vocal Prayer puts into words the prayer of our hearts with our voice and with the use of internal words. Vocal prayer occurs when we say the Our Father aloud or to oneself, share a prayer service with a group, pray in unison at the liturgy, say the Rosary alone or with a group, conduct intercessory prayers, and even when we pray alone by giving voice to our interior prayer. Through vocal prayer, we use our senses to animate our internal prayer.


“Meditation engages thought, imagination, emotion, and desire” (CCC 2708). We bring to meditation our own life and in doing so work to find understanding and connection with God. We can use Sacred Scriptures, spiritual texts, artwork, reflection guides, whatever will help us focus as we go deeper into our prayer to sense the movements of our hearts. There are several sources to help facilitate meditation, including Lectio Divina (sacred reading), the Examen, the Gospel of the day and the Rosary.

Contemplative Prayer

Contemplative Prayer is an inner prayer focused on the silence inside of us. There are no tools or words — silent or spoken — needed. The chatter of our mind goes silent, as contemplative prayer does not seek answers but rather seeks union with God, who is always seeking us. This intense form of prayer is about communion and love and allows the space for God to speak directly to our hearts. This prayer can happen anywhere at any time.

For prayer resources, visit our resource section.