God hears every prayer - but not all prayers are answered in the way we might expect or desire. Sometimes we need to offer ‘arrow prayers’, asking for God’s immediate help in a particular situation. But thankfully we don't live all our lives in moments of extreme crisis.
What about day-to-day praying?
Prayer is talking and listening to God. We can pray any time, anywhere, about anything …
As we pray our relationship with God deepens. Jesus prayed often and when His disciples asked Him to teach them to pray, He gave them the Lord’s Prayer:
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.
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. Use your hand as a model.
How to start?
Use your hand. Your fingers can be used to bring to mind different things to pray for.
Thumb - This is the strongest digit on your hand. Give thanks for all the strong things in your life, like home and family, relationships that support and sustain you.
Index finger - This is the pointing finger. Pray for all those people and things in your life who guide and help you. Friends, teachers, doctors, nurses, emergency services and so on.
Middle finger - This is the tallest finger. Pray for all the important people who have power in the world, like world leaders and their governments, members of parliament and local councillors, the Royal Family, other world leaders and their governments.
Ring finger - This is the weakest finger on your hand. It can not do much by itself. Remember the poor, the weak, the helpless, the hungry, the sick, the ill and the bereaved.
Little finger - This is the smallest and the last finger on your hand. Pray for yourself.
When should I pray?
Traditionally, prayer times have been morning and evening, but you can choose a time which is best for you. It helps to be somewhere quiet, where you can have some time for yourself.
Do I have to kneel?
Kneeling is the traditional posture for penitence and standing for praise, but you can pray anywhere - walking, standing, sitting, whatever feels comfortable.
What else do I need to know?
Be creative - use music, a stone, a feather, a flower, or a candle to help you focus - if you are very young, or elderly, be careful with candles!
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.
Build up a collection of favourite prayers and sayings -anything that speaks to you. You can find them in greeting cards, cuttings in the press or bookmarks and prayer cards. You could make a scrapbook for them.
SERVICES BY PHONE
– dial 0800 804 8044 for prayer, reflection, music and worship services from the Church of England. A weekly service is available from 9am every Sunday.
APPS AND WEBSITES
Common Worship: Daily Prayer
This provides the text for Morning, Evening and Night Prayer, in traditional or contemporary language, complete with Psalms and readings
from the Church of England.
Common Worship: Time to Pray
Time to Pray: Prayer During the Day from the Church of England provides a pattern of prayer and daily Bible reading that is simple yet profound.
Pray as you go app and website
Designed to be accessible wherever you are, this includes music, scripture and questions for reflection, based on the Daily Eucharist Lectionary.
Sacred Space app and website
Spiritual freedom, a deeper relationship with Jesus, and finding God in all things are three basic precepts of Ignatian Spirituality.
Lectio 365 is a daily devotional resource that helps you pray the bible every day.
Northumbrian Community Daily Prayer
Northumbria Community is a dispersed network of people, hugely diverse, from different backgrounds, streams and edges of the Christian faith.
Praying Each Day