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Home > Faith Works > Life to the Full > Ways of Praying

Ways of Praying

There are many ways of praying in Ignatian Spirituality, explore below different ways or praying. 

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Examen

In the Examen, we review our recent past to find God and God’s blessings in life. We also look back to find moments in the day when things didn’t go so well—when we were hurt by something that happened to us, or when we sinned or made a mistake. We give praise and thanksgiving for the blessed moments. We ask forgiveness and healing for the difficult and painful moments. Having reflected on this past day, we then turn to the day yet to come and ask God to show us the potential challenges and opportunities of tomorrow. We try to anticipate which moments might go one way or the other for us: toward God’s plan or away from it. We ask for insight into what graces we might need to live this next day well; patience, wisdom, fortitude, self-knowledge, peace, optimism. We ask God for that grace, and we trust that he wants us to succeed in our day even more than we do.

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Imaginative Contemplation

Ignatius was convinced that God can speak to us as surely through our imagination as through our thoughts and memories. In the Ignatian tradition, praying with the imagination is called contemplation. In the Exercises, contemplation is a very active way of praying that engages the mind and heart and stirs up thoughts and emotions. (Note that in other spiritual traditions, contemplation has quite a different meaning: it refers to a way of praying that frees the mind of all thoughts and images.) Learn more

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Lectio Divina

Lectio Divina is a contemplative way of reading the Bible. It dates back to the early centuries of the Christian Church and was established as a monastic practice by Benedict in the 6th century. It is a way of praying the scriptures that leads us deeper into God’s word. We slow down. We read a short passage more than once. We chew it over slowly and carefully. We savour it. Scripture begins to speak to us in a new way. It speaks to us personally, and aids that union we have with God through Christ who is himself the Living Word. Learn more

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Praying with Art

Praying with Art is an ancient prayer practice that involves keeping our eyes wide open, taking into our hearts what the image visually communicates, we focus not on what is seen in the art but rather on what is seen through it. This is prayer without words, with a focus on being in God's presence rather than performing in God's presence. Learn more

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Meditations

Meditation is a practice where an individual develops techniques such as mindfulness or focusing the mind on a particular object, thought or activity. The purpose is to train attention and awareness and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state. 

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