Church prayer and private prayer
If you’re doing a Church Leaflet on Prayer, as suggested last month, it may be good to start with a bit about what it is and why it matters (p1), but you may also (p2) want to draw attention to how your Church prays: e.g., public prayer during worship services, and the normal practice of brief prayer at the beginning and end of Church meetings. If you hold any prayer meetings, obviously list time(s) and venue(s), and perhaps what they’re like and how long they last. If you make this monthly prayer column available (in some form) you might mention it. And you could even include information about the Bradford North Circuit prayer letters emailed out each week to those who’ve asked for them – to find out more, contact: email@example.com
Besides saying how ‘the Church’ prays, you may also want to offer some guidance for novices or the nervous about how they themselves can pray. You could reassure that we can talk with God anytime, inside or out loud (or written down), about whatever, as we might to a good and respected friend, but some may be helped by starting with someone else’s words, as in books of prayers (or those included with this column). But you might want to make clear that prayer is two-way: God listens, but also wants to speak with us, so we should give ourselves time to be able to hear. If your church has a special place of prayer, of course include details.
It’s such a privilege to be permitted to partner with God in prayer – joyous, but also something to take quite seriously, and encourage.
A prayer for each week
Lord, you taught people how to pray, with the Lord’s prayer as a model, but please guide me still today: for whom and what; and how. Amen.
Creator Lord, Maker of heaven and earth, yet caring to hear your children at prayer, please stir me up to the importance of talking with you. Amen.
Please, heavenly Father, help me to sense your living presence when I pray, and to resist any formality or empty routine in what I say. Amen.
Lord of heaven and earth, concerned at heart for all that happens, please make me more prayerful – about anything, anywhere, as you lead. Amen.
Thank you Lord, for the gift of prayer and your invitation to come to you anytime for the help we need with kingdom work, or anything! Amen.
Your own prayers