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Prayer - What? How? 

Prayer what how?

Prayer - What?

At its simplest, prayer is a two way communication with God.
It is done alone...but also with others.  It is an ocean in which you may dip a toe, can swim regularly with intent, may float supported, be surprised by the breakers, or dive into the unfathomable depths and be swept along in the current of God’s love.   
It is an anguished yell “Help!”, but also a lifetime of discovery and learning.
So, here are a few insights about prayer from others:


‘To pray means to open your hands before God.  It means slowly relaxing the tension which squeezes your hands together and accepting your existence with an increasing readiness, not as a possession to defend, but as a gift to receive. Above all, therefore, prayer is a way of life which allows you to find a stillness in the midst of the world where you open your hands to God’s promises and find hope for yourself, your fellowman, and the whole community in which you live.’  HENRI NOUWEN  (In ‘With Open Hands’,1972)
‘Everyone prays. But no one finds it easy. We all need a little help.’ PETE GRIEG (from ‘How to Pray’ 2019)
‘There is not in the world a way of life more sweet, nor more delightful, than continued conversation with God.’  FRÈRE LAURENT (1691)
‘Is prayer your steering wheel, or your spare tyre?’
‘Any concern too small to be turned into a prayer is too small to be made into a burden.’
CORRIE TEN BOOM  (1892-1983)
‘The deepest prayer at its nub is a perpetual surrender to God’ THOMAS MERTON (In ‘Contemplative Prayer’ 1972)
‘”Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.  Which one of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?  If you  then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”’   JESUS in MATTHEW’S GOSPEL (Ch7:7-11)
‘Shout for joy to the Lord all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.  Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.  For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.’ KING DAVID - PSALM 100


Prayer - How?

Keep it simple.  Keep it real.  Keep it up. (Pete Grieg in ‘How to Pray’ 2019)
Keep it simple.  
[Jesus said,]
 ‘This, then, is how you should pray:
‘“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
 Give us today our daily bread.
 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”’
Matthew 6:9-13
Keep it real.   
‘“And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.   Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”’  Matthew 6:7-8
Keep it up.  
‘Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.’  Luke 18:1

Still yourself.

Jesus said, “When you pray....” 
 Pause to be still, breathe slowly, and centre your senses upon God's presence.

Praise - Thank - Worship. 
“Father in heaven, hallowed be your name... 
  Focus on God's character, perhaps try to express what you feel.
  In worship, sense God's Spirit with your spirit.

“Your kingdom come... Give us today our daily bread.”
  Be real; voice your worries; make your requests simply...
Submit – Offer.

“Forgive us our sins, as we forgive..."
  Consider honestly your failings, and say sorry.
  God, I offer myself - all of me.
  God, please come with me as I leave this time of prayer.

                                            Amen - Yes- So be it! 

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