Techniques - How might you pray?

You might use the words of the Lord's Prayer, as it is known, or the words of other prayers. You will find some other prayers on our website and these are prayers which we use from time to time during services and also at individual prayer times.

Just as each person is an individual, so is their need and approach to prayer. What may be helpful to one person may be a turn off and consequently unhelpful to another. The best advice given on prayer seems to be to try out different ways and see what works for you and is helpful for you.

Praying doesn't need words to be spoken. Prayer can be a wordless turning of the mind and heart towards God, as in meditation or contemplation. Many who pray regularly try also to listen to what God is saying to them, not filling all their prayer time with their own speaking. Prayer is a dialogue, a conversation, even if at times it is hard to believe that your requests are being heard! Our prayers can be answered in quite unexpected ways too - be prepared for surprises!

Often people will find it helpful to have a simple phrase or even a single word to repeat either aloud or silently over and over again. Others in the daily situations that they find themselves in their lives, use arrow prayers - short phrases or sentences directed at God - "God, please help me"; " Calm my fears, merciful God"; in much the same way as conversation might be.

Praying can take place at any time, day or night and can be when you are kneeling, standing (as in the Early Church tradition), sitting or lying down. Contrary to widespread practice, you don't have to have your eyes closed to pray - but some people do feel that they concentrate better that way. You don't have to be in a "holy place" such as a church to pray. In fact many people find that they pray best in the open air and that prayer is often initiated as a response to what they see around them. A beautiful view of mountains may inspire thoughts of thankfulness and a prayer of thanksgiving to the Creator may flow naturally on from this.

Some people like to light a candle or look at a picture or ikon, as a focus - others may listen to music. Whatever creates a space and an inner stillness will help you to become aware of God's presence within.

Prayer is a part of you waiting to be discovered - why not try it!