Christian tradition has retained three major expressions of prayer: vocal, meditative and contemplative.

Vocal prayer is an essential element of the Christian life.  To his disciples, drawn by their Master’s silent prayer, Jesus teaches a vocal prayer, the Our Father.  He not only prayed aloud the liturgical prayers of the synagogue but, as the gospels show, he raised his voice to express his personal prayer, from exultant blessing of the Father to the agony of Gethsemanie.  God seeks worshippers in Spirit and in Truth, and consequently living prayer that rises from the depths of the soul.  He also wants the external expression that associates the body with interior prayer, for it renders him that perfect homage which is his due.

Meditation There are many and varied methods of meditation as there are spiritual masters.  Christians owe it to themselves to develop the desire to meditate regularly, lest they come to resemble the three first kinds of soil in the parable of the sower.  But a method is only a guide; the important thing is to advance, with the Holy Spirit, along the one way of prayer:  Christ Jesus.  Christian prayer tries above all to meditate on the mysteries of Christ, as in lectio divina or the rosary.  This form of prayerful reflection is of great value, but Christian prayer should go further: to the knowledge of the love of the Lord Jesus, to union with him.

Contemplative prayer St. Teresa says ‘contemplative prayer is nothing else than a close sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with him who we know loves us.’  The choice of the time and duration of the prayer arises from a determined will, revealing the secrets of the heart.  One does not undertake contemplative prayer only when one has the time: one makes time for the Lord, with the firm determination not to give up, no matter what trials and dryness one may encounter.  One cannot always meditate, but one can always enter into inner prayer, independently of the conditions of health, work or emotional state.  The heart is the place of this quest and encounter, in poverty and in faith.

(Catechism of the Catholic Church)