God loves us with the tenderness of a doting parent and longs to be in a close and trusting relationship with us. Like any good relationship, regular quality time is needed in order for the relationship to develop. Prayer is how we talk to our loving God; it is also how we listen for what God might be saying to us. St Teresa of Avila described it as ‘a close sharing between friends’.
What is Prayer?
Prayer is giving our attention to God in a two-way spiritual relationship where we talk to God and also listen to Him. Prayer is like a child’s conversation with their father. It is natural for a child to ask his father for the things they need.
We don’t pray on our own, but alongside Christians throughout the ages and around the world. Prayer brings us in touch with God and others, and Christians pray in the name of Jesus Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit. As we pray, we offer every situation to God, and God uses our prayers to bring love and justice into the world.
How do I begin?
There is no ‘hidden secret’ when it comes to prayer. God is always alongside us and ready to listen.
There are many ways to pray:
- Use words – think or speak or sing them
- Say ‘Amen’ to someone else’s prayer
- Give our feelings to God
- Do something prayerful – light a candle or visit a church
- Be quiet with God – on our own or with other people.
The Lord’s Prayer
One day Jesus’ disciples said to Jesus, ‘Lord, teach us to pray.’ (Luke 11.1)
Jesus’ response was simple: he gave them some words to use, which we know as 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; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.