The Bible tells us that prayer is an important spiritual practice for connecting with God, but between all our busy commitments it can sometimes be hard to be intentional about prayer. Rev Bec Lindsay from Hope Uniting Church shares with us some simple yet meaningful ideas for practicing prayer that can be used wherever you may be - at home, in your church or small group, or even at work or Uni. Check them out below!
7 Simple Prayer Practices
1. The Prayer that Jesus taught us. When we don’t know how or what to pray, pray The Lords Prayer (Matthew 6: 9-13).
2. Help Thanks Wow. Christian author Anne Lamott has written a book where she names Help, Thanks, Wow, as three essential prayers. Help - asking for assistance from a higher power, Thanks - appreciating what we have that is good, and Wow - feeling awe at the world around us. Perhaps you could find a moment each day for a prayer around these three words.
3. Praying the Psalms. The Psalms are the Bible’s Prayerbook and take up the whole range of human emotion. You can pray through the psalms by reading a psalm or listening to one and allowing its words to direct your own prayer. For a slower practice, try reading the same Psalm each day for a week.
4. Using a Taize Chant. The Taize community in France puts short reflections to repetitive and simple music. Find one to listen to and sing along. Let it return to you throughout the day. (One of our favorites at CSU is O, Lord Hear My Prayer).
5. Christian Meditation. Meditation has a rich history within Christian tradition. Sit down. Close your eyes. Breathe normally and use a simple word or phrase as a centre. The World Community for Christian Meditation recommends using the ancient Christian prayer Maranatha (Our Lord has come). There is information about this practice and resources to guide you at wccmaustralia.org.au.
6. Prayer Walk. Take a walk around your block/uni/workplace/somewhere and pay attention to what you see/hear/smell/encounter. Who do you see? What is happening? What makes you wonder? Pray for these things and offer your wonderings to God. This is a great activity for people of all ages!
7. Speaking Grace before meals. Take the short moment before eating to remember that you are God’s and be thankful.
Helpful online resources
Verse and Voice - Sojourners Magazine, based in the USA, sends out a daily email with a short Scripture reading, a short contemporary reading, and a short prayer. www.sojo.net/email-signup
The Edge of the Enclosure - Each week Suzanne Guthrie puts together prayers, Bible readings, and wisdom from the early church. www.edgeofenclosure.org
Lectionary Doodles- Karen Mitchell-Lambert has created colouring pages for a variety of Scripture readings. If colouring is your thing, this could be a helpful way to pray www.lectionarydoodles.wordpress.com.
Book of Common Prayer App. “Common prayer helps today’s diverse church pray together across traditions with morning, midday, and evening prayers for every day of the year.”
"Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4: 6-7