Resources for Prayer
Prayer is simply conversation with God—listening to and speaking with him. Sometimes this means just sitting in God’s presence in silence. Sometimes it’s helpful to use our bodies when we pray to help us focus. This is not unusual: people lift their hands during worship, fold their hands and close their eyes during prayer, or perhaps kneel or lie prostrate when praying. Sometimes it’s helpful to use ancient, tried and tested prayers rather than struggling to come up with our own words on the spot.
The following are some prayer practices that may help you in your time of prayer. Use them however they will be helpful to you.
Palms Up, Palms Down Prayer
Do this as many times as you need to release the things that burden you and be with God.
The Jesus Prayer (or Breath Prayer)
The Jesus Prayer is a simple, ancient prayer to focus us on Jesus. Its words come straight from scripture (Luke 18:13, 38): “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me [a sinner].” It is sometimes called “breath prayer” because it is sometimes timed with breathing. Here’s how you can begin:
Sit comfortably, but with good posture, feet flat on the ground. Relax. Take a deep breath. - Slowly breathe in and pray the words, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God…”
As you slowly breathe out, finish the sentence: “...have mercy on me, [a sinner].” - Repeat as often as you like. Or you may choose to remain silent and when your thoughts are distracted, say the words again.
The Lord's Prayer
Many of us have the Lord’s Prayer memorized, which can sometimes lead to it becoming empty words that we just say thoughtlessly. As a way to renew this prayer, pray it slowly, line by line, reflecting on the words of each line as you pray. You could also use each line as a prompt for praying for other things (e.g. “Your kingdom come…” may lead to prayer for peace and justice; “Give us this day our daily bread…” may lead to prayer for needs you are aware of.)
Our Father, who is in heaven
Hallowed be your name
Your kingdom come, your will be done
On earth, as it is in heaven
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our sins (debts, trespasses)
As we forgive those who have sinned (trespassed) against us (or our debtors)
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil (or the evil one)
For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever and ever, amen.