That request was put to Jesus by his own disciples – which should encourage us if we feel we don’t know how to pray. They needed help, and so do we, especially at troubled times.
But there isn’t just one right way to pray – what works well for one person may not for another. The following thoughts are offered just as guidelines which may be useful:
When we pray we come before God with the world on our hearts. We are also offering ourselves to be in some small way channels of love and peace in God’s world.
God already knows what is in our hearts and minds. We can be honest with God, and say exactly how we feel, or even just sit in silence.
It might help to find a quiet space. You may want to be on your own, but you may also find that it helps to join other people, who may be gathering to pray in local churches, but also in schools, workplaces and elsewhere.
You may find that you can say just what you want to, using your own words. But many people find it helpful to use written prayers. This page provides a number of prayers for different people and situations.
We need to come closer to God, to experience His love for us and to try to make sense of where we are in the world. Prayer is the way we do this.
Remember God hears every prayer – but not all prayers are answered in the way we might expect or desire: we don’t always pray for his will to be done.
‘Arrow’ Prayers can be offered to God anywhere, at any time.
Kneeling is the traditional posture for penitence and standing for praise, but you can pray anywhere – walking, standing, sitting, whatever feels comfortable.
Prayer activity is a discipline – it can be difficult at times, just like keeping fit, being on a diet, or keeping weeds down in the garden! Little and often is best, but don’t give up! No prayer, however inadequate you may feel it to be, is ever wasted or of no value.
Below are link to the morning, evening and night prayers for today.
“Daily Prayer provided by the official Church of England web site, © The Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England, 2002-2004.”
You may wish to use the reading and Gospel for Sunday as an aide to mediation and prayer. They can be found on the weekly newsletter on the home page.
You may find the prayers below a starting point for your own individual prayers, as we try to share in Christ’s prayer to his Father, that his will be done, his kingdom come.
Prayer of St. John of the Cross
O blessed Jesus, give me stillness of soul in thee.
Let thy mighty calmness reign in me;
rule me, O King of gentleness, King of peace.
Give me control, great power of self-control,
control over my words thoughts and actions.
From all irritability, want of meekness, want of gentleness, dear Lord, deliver me.
By thine own deep patience, give me patience.
Make me in this and all things more and more like thee.
Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Bring us, O Lord God, at our last awakening, into the house of God and gate of heaven that we may dwell in that place where there is no cloud nor sun, no darkness nor dazzling, but one equal light, no noise nor silence but one equal music, no fears nor hopes, but one equal possesion, no foes nor friends, but one equal communion and identity, no ends nor beginnings, but one equal eternity.
John Donne 1571-1631
Covenant Prayer by John Wesley
I am no longer my own, but thine.
Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt;
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed by thee or laid aside for thee,
exalted for thee or brought low by thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things
to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
thou art mine, and I am thine. So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.
Prayer of St. Theresa of Avila
Let nothing trouble you,
let nothing make you afraid.
All things pass away.
God never changes.
Patience obtains everything.
God alone is enough.
Russian Orthodox morning prayer
Grant unto me, my Lord, that peace in mind I may face all that this new day is to bring.
Grant unto me grace to surrender myself completely to Thy holy will. Instruct and prepare me in all things for every hour of this day.
Whatsoever tidings I may receive during the day, do Thou teach me to accept them calmly, in the firm conviction that all eventualities fulfill Thy holy will.
Govern Thou my thoughts and feelings in all I do and say. When things unforeseen occur, let me not forget that all cometh down from Thee.
Teach me to behave sincerely and reasonably toward every member of my family and all other human beings, that I may not cause confusion and sorrow to anyone.
Bestow upon me, my Lord, strength to endure the fatigue of the day and to bear my share in all its passing events.
Guide Thou my will and teach me to pray, to believe, to hope, to suffer, to forgive, and to love. Amen.
O Lamb of God, who takest away the sin of the world, look upon us and have mercy upon us, thou who art thyself both victim and priest, thyself both reward and redeemer, keep safe from evil those whom thou hadst redeemed, O saviour of the world.
Prayer of General Lord Astley (1579-1652)
O Lord, thou knowest how busy I must be this day:
If I forget thee, do not thou forget me: for Christ’s sake.
Prayer of St. Elizabeth of the Trinity
O consuming Fire, Spiit of Love,
descend within me
and reproduce in me, as it were,
an incarnation of the word,
that I may be to him another humanity
wherein he renews his mystery.
Study Prayer of St. Thomas Aquinas
Creator of all things,
true Source of light and wisdom,
lofty origin of all being,
graciously let a ray of Your brilliance
penetrate into the darkness of my understanding
and take from me the double darkness
in which I have been born,
an obscurity of both sin and ignorance.
Give me a sharp sense of understanding,
a retentive memory,
and the ability to grasp things correctly and fundamentally.
Grant me the talent of being exact in my explanations,
and the ability to express myself with thoroughness and charm.
Point out the beginning,
direct the progress,
and help in completion;
through Christ our Lord.