What are the 5 Ps of prayer?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 12,912
    Jesuit Pastoral Minister Rev. Joe McCloskey discusses the 5 Ps of prayer including presence, petition, place, parachutes, and person.

    Host: What are the 5 Ps of prayer?

    Rev. Joseph McCloskey: The five Ps of prayer are, if I am going to do it properly it is how do I get myself into the presence of God? So the first P is called Presence. The second P, I have never done anything in my life without having some purpose behind it. So the second P is the Petition, it's something that I am asking God for. The third P is the Place. So I pray in my mind, in my imagination, in the place that Christ was in if I am meditating on the event and the life of Christ and if I am using Christ life to come alive to my own life, the place becomes his place or I have my prayer spot in my room, where I have a crucifix, where I have a favorite chair that I pray in, where I have all my aids for prayer. So it's like a two lovers references to the other, my place or your place and that is making the choice of where you are going to pray in terms of an historical moment in life of Christ or a very real moment in life of Joe. The fourth P, the reason I call it Parachutes, is because when you are in to the depths of your prayer, you don't want to be rushing back to earth and there are sometimes when prayers seems like it's collapsing around you. So the parachute is a line from scripture that you have selected. 'Come to me all you who labor a burden and I will refresh you.

    ' It might be my favorite line of whole scripture because I take in with this invitation whenever I am the down the dumps or whenever I am tired to just simply ask for a quick boost me up, hold me up, and then the final P is the Person, that I would choose between God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit or if I am really going to talk about what they call the Triple Colloquy, I would probably talk to all the three. But the notion Triple Colloquy includes Mary as someone to talk to, because once you allow that Jesus is the son of Mary, then every good son learns something from his mom. We never leave prayer without saying goodbye to all three -- the father, the son and the holy spirit. It is the richness of God. Three persons, one God, that's the mystery of trinity and we never leave a prayer without somehow or other including Mary as the mother of Jesus so the humanness of Christ never gets lost in our prayer. It comes to the forefront because we know his mother. So five Ps that make a prayer and the richness of each one of these Ps, is that they implicitly contain the other four. So I don't have to try to do all five, I just simply have to check out my prayer so everyone is that I work for as a spiritual director who is trying to improve their prayer, they do a journal and they reflect on their prayer and there are three questions that they are asking themselves, what was I doing for Christ? What am I doing for Christ? What will I do for Christ? The richness of the reflection gives you a chance to look at how seriously you were focusing this mystery of Gods love for you and his son and what part of that mystery is going to claim your heart the most this day. 1