Through many different types of prayer we all have the privilege of communicating with God. Usually in a traditional Sunday Service there will be a wide variety of prayers - prayers which give praise and adoration to God, prayers of thanksgiving, prayers for all that God has done through Jesus, and prayers of confession for example.
Prayers for others often come under the following headings:
- prayers for the church at home and abroad
- the world
- topical issues in the news at the time
- local community
- those who are ill and families of those bereaved
Participation in prayer in church can range from formal, following a set pattern, with printed responses, to more spontaneous, spoken as the Holy Spirit leads. Times of silence are also helpful.
Personal prayer will vary according to individuals. Prayer can be silent, it might be a few words to give thanks or ask for God’s help, or it could be something longer. It is a personal conversation with God.
The opening from a traditional hymn by James Montgomery says: “Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire uttered or unexpressed”
Some examples of prayer in the bible:
- Jesus teaches about prayer in Matthew 6/Luke 11/Mark 11:22,24-25
- There are prayers of individuals:
- Hannah ( 1 Samuel 2)
- David (2 Sam 7:18, )
- Solomon (1 Kings 8:22)
- Mary’s song of praise( Luke 1:46)
The Psalms are also a good resource, as are the prayers of notable people like St Francis , Mother Teresa.
Hymns: See the following sections : HP 484-574, SF 39-99, 419-439, 517-513
If you have access to the internet The Methodist website offers a number of prayer resources - www.methodist.org.uk/ as do other denominations. The following site www.faithandworship.com also has a varied collection of prayers.