Orar and Rezar: Two ways to pray in Spanish

If you’ve been learning Spanish long enough (and it doesn’t take long), you’ve already discovered there are often multiple verbs that have the same meaning.  Or appear to on the surface.  Orar and Rezar are two of those verbs.

They both mean to pray, and although many Spanish  speakers use them as synonyms, there is a difference between the two.  Let’s take a closer look.

Orar is to pray in a personal sense, your intimate thoughts and prayers between you and God.

Oro todos los dias antes de dormir y cuando amanezco
I pray everyday before I go to sleep

Rezar is for reciting memorized prayers, like el Padre Nuestro or el Rosario

Todos los jueves después de las 9am, Servicio de Comunión, rezamos el Rosario
Every Thursday after 9am, the Communion Service, we recite the Rosary prayer

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