In Christianity is all prayer supplication, and if not, what else it at work?

Supplication being as I understand it a sort of request to God.

What prayers are unequivocally not requests, or nearly so?


Most Christian traditions (I'd not like to speak for all) would say yes, prayer involves more than supplication.

TEC (The Episcopal Church in the USA) outlines various forms of prayer in its catechism:

What are the principle [sic] kinds of prayer?

A. The principle kinds of prayer are adoration, praise, thanksgiving, penitence, oblation, intercession, and petition.

Of these, only intercession and petition (and, arguably, penitence) can be described as supplication.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says something similar. It lists the types of prayer as

  • blessing and adoration
  • petition
  • intercession
  • thanksgiving
  • praise

(CCC, ¶¶2634‒2643

No doubt there are other answers to this question, but I think most Christian traditions would identify more than one form of prayer.

  • that's pretty much an answer, thanks... if this mainstream were to define prayer that isn't supplication, what would they say ? – banal Jan 11 '15 at 14:18
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    @user3293056 You might see a section in that CCC link, ¶2623: "Blessing expresses the basic movement of Christian prayer: it is an encounter between God and man." That seems a good summary to me, though doubtless there are many others. – lonesomeday Jan 11 '15 at 14:21
  • ok, thanks, that is awful good of you to reply so promptly etc., thanks :) – banal Jan 11 '15 at 14:24

It certainly doesn't have to include supplication.

My 2-year-old daughter regularly prays: Thank you Jesus for my food. Amen. There's no supplication there, but it's certainly prayer.

Romans 11:33-36 is also a prayer, but it's praise and adoration, with no supplication.

Similarly Romans 16:25-27, or Psalm 8.

  • ok, that's great, thanks... e.g. psalm 8 though, would still be read as a request to god? Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger. – banal Jan 11 '15 at 14:06
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    @user3293056 I don't think that's a request. It's a statement about God and what he does. – chiastic-security Jan 11 '15 at 14:08
  • taking a step back, are all God's acts for mankind ? – banal Jan 11 '15 at 14:11
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    @user3293056 the short answer is no, but you'd need to ask that as a separate question. – chiastic-security Jan 11 '15 at 14:18

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