Mental Prayer



I am interested in mental prayer. I seem to be noticing that when I pray privately vocally, my mind can move ahead of the words or I may feel the need to put the thoughts into words and I can’t always readily find the right words.

I understand that mental prayer involves more that saying vocal prayer in one’s mind. However, could normally vocal prayers be “said” mentally by thinking the concepts and petitions but not necessarily thinking the words. For example, in praying the Hail Mary mentally one would start by addressing Mary mentally and pondering that she is filled with God’s grace and so on.

Any thoughts about mental prayer welcomed.

Thank You.


I don’t have any advice or knowledge on mental prayer, but I will be watching this post because I am curios about it as well.


Hi Coder,

Last spring, I found this book on mental prayer by Fr. Edward Leen really helpful. You can read it online at the link below:

Progress Through Mental Prayer


Thank you, that certainly seems to have much information. I read a part of it that indicated that vocal prayer is suited for public prayer. That makes sense and that may be related to why I am interested in mental prayer for my private prayer at home. Of course I am sure it is right to say some vocal prayers such as the Our Father privately as well as publicly.


Prayer is simply to raise heart and mind to God however one may be drawn to do so - all is good! To address anyone in Heaven at all including Our Lady and the Saints, the angels, is prayer…and if you are drawn to praying the Hail Mary and mentally addressing Mary, then do, it is an excellent form of prayer. Over our journeys our ways of praying can change and most often do.

May your journey be blest…Joy to you at Advent…Barb:)



Look into Saint Teresa of Avila. She is a Doctor of the Church and has a wealth of information on mental prayer.


Mental prayer is a conversation with the Lord. After St. Teresa of Avila, it ranges from saying prayers such as the Our Father aware before Whom they are said to a heart-to-heart loving gaze without words.

Try to not be entangled with methods, the Lord Himself is eager to get closer to you and He will bless you with the graces for that. There is no other way.


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