The What-How-Why of Prayer

What is Ignatian prayer? How can I pray? Why do we pray? These questions all speak to a desire to grow closer to God. Explore approaches to Ignatian prayer. (The well-known Examen has its own page.)

Why Do We Pray?
By William A. Barry, SJ
“We pray, then, at our deepest level, because we are drawn by the bonds of love. We pray because we love, and not just for utilitarian purposes.”

A Short Course on Prayer
By J.J. O’Leary, SJ
O’Leary explains that prayer begins with reality. Some of the comments and questions are directed specifically to students or teachers, but the full article is relevant to anyone seeking a prayer life that touches the inner core based on an awareness of self.

What Prayer Is
By Thomas H. Green, SJ
This chapter from Green’s Opening to God provides a basic description of prayer. Green discusses the effects of semi-Pelagianism on our traditional concepts of prayer and goes on to describe prayer as the opening of our hearts and minds to God.

Praying with Scripture
By Douglas J. Leonhardt, SJ
Fr. Leonhardt explains Lectio Divina and Gospel Contemplation, two ways to pray with Scripture.

Distractions in Prayer
By Kevin O’Brien, SJ
O’Brien encourages those who are experiencing distractions in prayer.

Experiences of Boredom or Dryness in Prayer
By Kevin O’Brien, SJ
O’Brien counsels careful discernment of feelings of boredom or dryness in prayer. Like all interior movements, they can tell us something.

Review Prayer by Keeping a Journal
By Kevin O’Brien, SJ
O’Brien offers some questions to ask after a period of prayer that might be helpful to consider while journaling.

Prayer: A Personal Response to God’s Presence
By Armand M. Nigro, SJ
A straightforward description of prayer as a loving response to God’s presence. Describes the 5 “P’s” of prayer and ends with a suggestion for group or family prayer.

Sensual Prayer – Electronic Context Ignatian Prayer for Internet Users (PDF)
By John M. Staudenmaier, SJ
The author notes that insofar as we are influenced by electronic media, we should expect to meet God in our experience of those media. The Web floods us with options that can overwhelm us if we do not approach the experience in a discerning manner. Ignatian prayer encourages us to interpret our experience of this electronic world especially to sense when we need to pause and where. Though written in 2000, most of the ideas hold in today’s world of increased electronic media.

dotMagis Posts About Ignatian Prayer
From the category archives of the dotMagis blog.