Two different events have impacted my prayer life recently. First, our parish has a new addition to the sanctuary. Painted in gold leaf, beneath the Crucifix, is the phrase “I THIRST FOR YOU”. This  is based  on  John 19:28.  (Click on the image below for a larger view.)

Second: during the Octave of Easter, the Liturgy of the Hours repeats the same prayers every day for the entire eight days. One of the two psalms used in Morning Prayer (Lauds) is Psalm 63. The first verse of this psalm is: “O God, you are my God, for you I long; for you my soul is thirsting.” (This is the Grail translation used in the Liturgy of the Hours, “Christian Prayer” book.) Note: My primary type of prayer is Vespers  (evening prayer) in the Liturgy of the Hours.

Special Note: When praying with the Psalms we need to remember what Jesus told us in Luke 24:44,   Then he said to them “These are my words which I spoke to you, while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses, and the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.”

With this in mind, the connection between Psalm 63:1 and John 19:28 in not a coincidence. The phrase “I thirst” is a special type of prayer. So what type is it?

The Catechism of the Catholic church lists five types of prayer: Blessing and Adoration, Petition (this includes mercy and contrition), Intersession, Thanksgiving, and Praise. I believe this prayer to be something a little different: a prayer of Love. For unlike all the other types of prayer, in a prayer of “I love you” or “I thirst for you” spoken to God, the exact same words  can and are spoken by God back to us. That is what makes this prayer so special.

I would like to encourage you to spend some time praying with Psalm 63, it is a beautiful and special prayer.