Prayer: time for tranquility
Life is too often filled with noise. Much is delightful – the sound of children,of music, the warmth of conversation. Some less so – traffic, crowds, the incessant demands of work. To balance the busyness of life, we need times of reflection, of calm – only then will we
be at peace with ourselves and be alert to the “still small voice” of God.
Setting space aside to pray, and to listen, is time that will nourish your whole life as it brings you, little by little, closer to God.
How do I start?
The Church of England website www.england.anglican.org has a wealth of worship to access. Follow the links for daily prayer and you can join the millions across the world who pray these services morning and evening.
These are the orders we use for Morning and Evening Prayer in church, that you may find helpful. We often mull over the readings together and share those things that are particularly on our mind in prayer. These are times both of quiet and of conversation, and everyone is welcome.
Night prayer includes a very short Bible reading and provides a gentle reflective end to the day.
Books we find helpful include:
John Pritchard: How to pray
Angela Ashwin: The Book of a Thousand Prayers
Angela Ashwin: Woven into Prayer
As our new season begins, we pray:
Father, pour out your Spirit upon us, grant us a new vision of your glory, a new experience of your power, a new faithfulness to your word, a new commitment to your service, that your love may grow among us and your Kingdom come: through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
A Morning Prayer
Lord our God, as with all creation we offer you the life of this new day, give us grace to love and serve you to the praise of Jesus Christ our Lord.
A Bedtime Prayer
Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who wake, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, give rest to the weary, sustain the dying, calm the suffering, and pity the distressed; all for your love’s sake, O Christ our Redeemer
Praying with images
ReJesus www.rejesus.co.uk has a more visual approach. It’s “written for people who have no experience of prayer, regular or otherwise. From it you can get ideas about different aspects of prayer and it could give you a taste of where prayer life could lead."
There are as many ways to pray as there are people. What feels right to one person may not help another. But there are almost infinite resources to help!
You may start with a single line from Scripture: “be still and know that I am God”, or with the simple plea “God be merciful to me”.
What matters is that we are honest. Remembering that God “knows the secrets of our hearts”, we can share with him everything that troubles us, delights us, saddens us; the people we long for him to heal, the blessings we’re grateful for, the situations we regret. It is through opening ourselves to his light that we can find our way through whatever is on our minds.
Carve out time when nothing can be demanded of you, let your mind empty, be still and let God find you.
Prayer groups meet regularly to share their thoughts and prayers.Please contact Patrick (tel. 01625 829288) if you would like to join or start one.