Faith & Worship

The nature of prayer

Prayer is the way we conduct our relationship with God. As in any relationship, if we think about it too much, or worry about it, we will see it fall apart in our hands. Prayer, simply, is a way of talking to God. It is something a child can do instinctively, but it can also be a life's work.  There is endless advice on technique, but we are really best off when we are not too self-conscious and not too preoccupied with trying to get it 'right'.  Whilst there is no one way of praying, most of us start simply by being quiet.  Prayer is always honest. If you pray what is on your mind and in your heart, not what you think you ought to pray, prayer can be heartfelt and deeply personal.  The most famous Christian prayer is the one that Jesus taught us:

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.
Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil,
For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory,
For ever and ever.

A prayer for those in trouble or distress:
Lighten our darkness we beseech thee O Lord,
and in thy great mercies defend us from all perils and dangers of this night,
for the love of  thy only son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.