How to Pray
In our busy lives it can sometimes seem as if there is little time for prayer beyond the immediate and the rushed. We know how difficult it can be, not only to know how to pray, but also to juggle work, family, home and social commitments and then carve out some time to be still and seemingly unproductive, not ‘getting on with things’. However as the poem goes ‘What is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare……..’. Our lives can flash before our eyes and before we know it important episodes in our lives have passed in a blur, vital decisions are taken by default, our major relationships with others, with ourselves and with God have been allowed to drift and become marginalised to ‘busyness’. The resources below are here to help you carve out a little time for yourself, and in so doing to find space and time to hear the insistent but silent call of God in our lives, to identify the true priorities of our lives; who are are, who we are becoming, where are we bound. Click on the links below to download a prayer guide on how to pray.
The Jesus Prayer - a prayer for life
Until recently, saying the Jesus Prayer, using either a prayer rope or prayer beads, was mainly practised by the Eastern Orthodox Church, but the prayer is becoming known to increasing numbers of Christians in the West. Now practised by countless men and women, lay as well as religious, from a variety of church traditions all over the world, its form is very simple – a constant and silent repetition of just a few words. That simple meditation provides a foundation, almost like a calm sea, upon which we can rest. Download the leaflet here.
The Labyrinth - walking the way
Walking a labyrinth is like making a pilgrimage, while remaining in one place. Labyrinth prayer can offer a similar journey of the mind, whilst the body is still. A labyrinth is different from a maze. A maze is full of dead-ends and tricks, whilst a labyrinth will always lead you to the centre, although the way may be long and confusing – rather like life. These leaflets offer a ‘finger labyrinth, a way of tracing the pathway, whilst your mind is open to whatever may occur, or focused on the needs of others or oneself. Download the leaflet here.
Read the Bible - in one Year
An easy to use reading scheme where with three short readings each day you can complete the Bible in a year. Any Bible can be used although this particular scheme does include the Apocrypha readings. It also allows for you to start at any point in the year and progress at your own pace – if you miss a day or two, that is fine, as you can pick up where you left off. We are so used to Bible readings in church, but far fewer worshippers have ever read the Bible from start to finish. Here is a way to do so. Download the leaflet here.
Lectio Divina - scripture speaking to you
With roots in traditional monastic practice, Lectio Divina is a form of scriptural reading, meditation and prayer where we engage with the text in immediate and personal ways. The text is treated not so much as historical narratives to be studied as a living reality that speaks to us today, and every day. Lectio Divina tradionally has four steps: read, meditate, pray, contemplate, that can be followed either alone or in a group. The leaflet takes through through the essentials of what has the potential to be a practice for a lifetime. Download the leaflet here.
Centering Prayer - contemplation and silence
A form of prayer that focuses on inner stillness and peace. Centering Prayer is inspired by the ancient practice of contemplative prayer, described by Thomas Merton as ‘centered entirely on the presence of God’. It is claimed by practitioners that Centering Prayer traces its roots to the Desert Fathers of early monaticism, ‘The Cloud of Unknowing‘ and St Teresa of Avila and St John of the Cross. Associated with advocates such as Abbot Thomas Keating who promotes this practice for all people, not just those in religious communities. Download the leaflet here.
Church of Ireland - Daily Prayer App
Grow in relationship with God through daily prayer. Read and meditate on Scripture. Prepare services with ease. All with the help of Daily Worship from the Church of Ireland Lectionary. The Church of Ireland’s Daily Worship app brings the content of the Book of Common Prayer into the smartphone era by presenting its content in one place, including Bible readings and liturgies for each day of the year. The app covers five services – Daily Prayer (Morning), Daily Prayer (Evening), A Late Evening Office, Compline, and Holy Communion – and draws on the rich liturgical resources of the Church of Ireland. Download the app here.