The United Benefice of
St Mary's, Henlow, and St Andrew's, Langford

Prayer: Where Do We Begin?

Prayer is like breathing: without it, we die.
This is the second in a series of articles on prayer written by the Revd Sue Groom. New articles will normally be added about half-way through each month. To be notified when updates are posted, please contact our webmaster, Phil Groom, via his blog, facebook or twitter.

2: Where Do We Begin?

Series Index

  1. Why Should We Pray?
  2. Where Do We Begin?
  3. How Should We Pray?
  4. A Few Suggestions to Help You Pray

Like communication with other people, prayer involves time and energy, it needs to become part of our daily lives, a habit, a routine. Prayer is work, hard work. It requires discipline and persistence, especially when we don't feel like it. We don't always feel like ringing someone or replying to their letter, but if we don't then the friendship will fade. The more we pray, the more we experience God's love for us, and the more we want to spend time in prayer.

First, find a time that you can regularly spend in prayer. A time when you are not going to be interrupted, preferably the same time each day. Keep it short to start with, if you aim at an hour in prayer each day and fail miserably it is more difficult to begin again. Be realistic, aim at 10-15 minutes per day. Try to combine it with reading the Bible.

Secondly, find a place where you can be comfortable, a favourite chair maybe, or a corner on the floor. Preferably not somewhere which will tempt you to fall fast asleep! Get into a comfortable position, so that you will not be distracted by aching joints or pins and needles. Kneel, sit, stand, or lie down — find your own place and position where you can be relaxed.

Thirdly, plan the time you have allocated, so that it will not be wasted. Begin by allowing some moments to relax both your body and mind, to 'tune in' to God. Hand distracting thoughts over to God. 'Lord I have so much to do today, I'm struggling to concentrate, please help me.' It may help to have pen and paper next to you to write down the things that pop into your mind. Like any relationship there needs to be both give and take, listening and speaking.

Give God a chance to get a word in. He may speak through your conscience or through bringing someone or something to mind or through the words of a hymn or Bible passage. Listen to him.

Praying Hands

A Prayer to Use

Heavenly Father, you deserve first place in my life.
Help me to find space to be with you, and space for you in my prayers,
so that you may play your proper place in my life.
In Jesus' name I ask it.

Pray as you can...

St Mary's, Henlow, and St Andrew's, Langford :: Diocese of St Albans :: Church of England

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