Every human being was created in order to have a relationship with God. People of all faiths seek this relationship – and prayer is one of its most important aspects from the human point of view.
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.
Christians believe that Jesus, God’s own Son, came to earth in human form and showed us what God is like. Many Christian people therefore find it helpful to concentrate their minds on Jesus as they pray, and to speak to God in prayer just as they would to another human being. Christians also believe that God gives us his Holy Spirit to help us pray.
How do we pray?
There is no exam to pass in order to be able to pray – anyone can do it. It’s important to remember, though, that different individuals pray in different ways, and that any one person is likely to pray in different ways in varying circumstances and at different stages of life. For Christians, the one acid test of prayer is that it should affect for good the sort of people we are and the sort of things we do and say.
Christians believe that God never leaves us or ignores us. We can therefore pray in the confidence that God really does want us to be in a conscious relationship with him.
Some Christians find it helpful when they pray to imagine that they are taking part in episodes described in the Gospels. The technical name for this way of praying is meditation. This type of prayer may lead on in time to a more direct experience of God, for which the technical name is contemplation. Others find that they are drawn simply to be silent in God’s presence, which is actually a form of contemplation.
Want to start praying?
There are many ways to pray, and no one way is correct for all. The two golden rules are:
- to pray as you can and not as you can’t, and
- to pray every day
When praying about life’s problems and challenges, some people will simply say what is on their mind (God’s love is so great that our angers and fears can be heard as well as our praise, thanks and requests) and ask for God’s presence and guidance. Others prefer to use prayers that have been written by others and used by the Church through the ages. Yet others find themselves drawn to more meditative or contemplative ways of prayer.
Some aids for daily prayer
Please browse through these links to some useful prayer resources from different traditions – you may find these useful if nurturing your own prayer life
Meditative daily prayer from Sacred Space – a short contemplative prayer resource which is also available as an Android and Apple app.
Morning Prayer from the Church of England – Common Worship morning prayer that used the same lectionary readings as the Church in Wales
Evening Prayer from the Church of England – as above
Other Liturgical Resources
Here you will find the prayer cycle for the Diocese of Monmouth
This link will take you to a very useful page of Anglican Liturgical resources
This ecumenical Taize resource has a short daily Bible reading as well as a wide range of music, text and other helps.
If you would like to discuss any aspect of prayer, you would like some help with your own prayer, or if you would like to receive prayer, please contact us – we will be delighted to hear from you.