Prayer isn’t a magical formula for getting what we want, and it isn’t reserved for ‘holy’ people, or for special times or places.
Prayer is talking to God.
Christians believe that God created everyone to be in relationship with him, and that he loves to hear from each one of us as often as possible. Just like you might talk to a close family member, so we have the privilege of talking to God. You don’t even need to be a Christian. God has made himself known to many who have reached out to him with an open heart.
In prayer, we can:
open our hearts and lives to God;
thank God for the blessings we receive each day, including the relationship God gives us with himself;
confess the wrong things we have done and, knowing God’s forgiveness, reject evil and turn back to him;
wait upon God, seeking to know and do his will;
share our worries, hopes and fears with God, asking him to help us.
How do we pray?
There is no set way to pray. But we can look to Jesus for helpful clues. Jesus often took himself away to a quiet place to pray. Many people find it helpful at times to go to a church or room on their own, or to take a walk. Some like to look at a picture of Jesus, or to light a candle. Others close their eyes or put their hands together to remove themselves from any distractions. Some people prefer to pray formal pre-written prayers, of which there are many. Generally Christians use a mixture of these pre-written prayers and more informal ‘chatty’ prayers. n group settings, prayers are often said out loud, so that everyone can benefit and sometimes join in. But Christians often say prayers silently, believing that God hears our thoughts. You can pray out loud or silently.
Want to start praying?
The Lord’s Prayer is the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples, when they asked him how they should pray:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen
There are many ways to pray, and no one way is correct for all.
The two golden rules are:
pray as you can and not as you can’t
If you would like some help with prayer, you are welcome to get in touch with us. Alternatively, you may find some of the following resources helpful:
Pray As You Go is a daily prayer session, designed to go with you wherever you go, to help you pray whenever you find time, but particularly whilst travelling to and from work, study, etc. A new prayer session is produced every day of the working week and one session for the weekend. It is not a 'Thought for the Day', a sermon or a bible-study, but rather a framework for your own prayer. Lasting between ten and thirteen minutes, it combines music, scripture and some questions for reflection.
There are also a series of prayers for specific subjects such as; loneliness, grief, depression, anxiety, and more... Take some time to explore the website or app to find something which may be helpful to you.