How do we pray?
Prayer is our conversation with God. It can be either in groups of any size or on your own. As Christians we traditionally pray in the name of Jesus (the Son of God) to God the Father, by the power of His Holy Spirit.
Our prayers are heard by God, whether or not we speak them aloud or pray within the privacy of our minds. But conversations are two-way events; we need to listen to how God is answering us. That is usually the harder bit - quite often because we overlook or ignore the answer when it is obvious!
Nonetheless, prayer is entirely for our benefit, for it brings us a heightened consciousness of God's presence in our life and therefore a fuller life. It neither needs to be complicated nor use poetic or archaic language (although some people can find these devices helpful, too).
The Lord's Prayer is probably the most famous prayer. However, it was never intended to be used as a mantra - as could be perceived by the way it is often recited in church services! Rather, it was a structure given to Jesus' disciples when they asked him the question, "How do we pray?" As such, it is the best and first prayer to learn, not as some sort of magic spell, but as a clear method and priority of the conversation that is most profitable to have with Almighty God.
It is reproduced here in its most common form (there are slight variations in translations). Notice how we start by boldly claiming our relationship with God, recognising His supremacy, asking for His reign to be accepted in our lives and world as it is in the fuller life of His eternal presence. Then we ask for the things that we need to sustain us in our personal lives: in body as well as soul, including our relationships with God and with one another. Finally, we acclaim the glory of God.
|(traditional translation)||(authorised modern language)|
|Our Father, which art in heaven,||Our Father in heaven,|
|Hallowed be thy Name.||Hallowed be your Name.|
|Thy kingdom come;||Your kingdom come;|
|Thy will be done;||Your will be done;|
|In earth as it is in heaven.||On earth as it is in heaven.|
|Give us this day our daily bread.||Give us today our daily bread.|
|And forgive us our trespasses,||Forgive us our sins,|
|As we forgive them who trespass against us.||As we forgive those who sin against us.|
|And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.||Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.|
|For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory,||For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours,|
|For ever and ever.||Now and forever.|
Although some of the English can seem a bit old in its style, you can be assured that Jesus intended us to pray this from the heart and to use it bringing to mind all our needs. Learn this prayer, for it will serve you well both in times of exhilaration and exhaustion.
Nonetheless, there are probably as many ways of praying as there are people; you might find some useful material on this link: