When devotion is expressed through words-i.e. speech, it is called stotra. It figures in many of the nine modes of devotion, e.g. sravana, kirtana and arcana. Six are said to be the characteristics of stotra:
Expressing the settled conclusion;
Speaking of the infinite power of God;
Expounding His glory; and
vibhutih prarthana ceti
Stotra is of two types; Expatiating on, and praising the auspicious and glorious attributes of God; and
Uttering the Names of God which manifest His attributes. The latter is easier, but is in no way less efficacious. This is the path, it is held, that is best suited to, and specially designed for, Kali-yuga.24
24. See H. J. Paton, The Modern Predicament (George Allen & Unwin Ltd. London, 1958), p. 148. "Ordinary prayer, we are told, has four stages or degrees of progress : (1) vocal prayer (2) meditation or discursive prayer; (3) affective prayer; and (4) the prayer of simple regard or of simplicity.