We’re all different. Why not explore different ways of praying in different seasons?
Silent prayer, or quiet prayer with few words.
This is a way of marking your intention, your desire to be in the presence of God.
Sitting upright, feet flat on the floor. Relax and just “be” in the presence of God, who loves you.
Feel the even rhythm of your breath and gently repeat a sacred word (you might choose “Love”, or “Jesus”).
As thoughts and distractions crowd in, let go of them to God and return to your breath and your word as an act of handing over all that you are to God. Each interruption is yet another opportunity to return to Presence.
Some people like to repeat two lines of a Psalm – Breathing in “My help comes from the Lord” and out “Who made heaven and earth” (or two lines that speak to you).
Or hear God’s silent “I love you” as you breathe in and return a silent “I love you” to God as you breathe out.
Some would use the Hebrew name YHWH. It’s said that the Jews did not speak God’s name, but breathed it with an open mouth: inhale—Yah; exhale—weh. By our very breathing we are speaking the name of God and participating in God’s breath. Inhale—Yah Exhale—weh.
If this form of prayer is new to you, practice this for a few minutes at first. Over time you might build this up to, say, 20 minutes.
Doing simple repetitive tasks
For many people, crochet, knitting, colouring, sanding wood, or drawing can offer the same quiet space as just sitting. They can practice being present to God, as they do a simple everyday task.
You could practice as you wash-up, or as you clean the car, using the ideas above.
Being outdoors can really help our sense of connection. Many people find using the rhythm of their steps a good way of practicing a similar pattern of quiet prayer.
Familiar prayers, or liturgy
Another traditional pattern for prayer may be following familiar prayers, or a simple liturgy, each day. Committing to set times for prayer also suits some people, but not others.
Interacting with the bible in creative ways
You can read a bible story from the gospels and imagine you are one of the characters or an observer. Afterwards you may wish to imagine your own conversation with Jesus or another of the characters in the scene.
Or you could try writing out a piece of scripture, changing the pronouns or names to speak directly to you and use this as a prayer.
Sometimes, in our busy days, it’s good to have something that draws us into prayer. You may like to light a candle, or establish a similar action that helps you to set apart a time. Having a ribbon, a plant or a small image on your workspace can be an invitation to take a few moments with God.
Put something in your pocket or phone case that reminds you of a person that you would like to hold in God’s love.
Using everyday objects to speak
Hold an everyday object. Let it remind you of a conversation or a meeting with another person.
Think about what was said and what was not said. Let the memory speak to you of God’s presence and love in our relationships.
Prayer for different personality types
- Some people like to pray in big groups. Others prefer individual prayer, or with one other or a small group.
- Some people like to be in creation. Just being outside speaks to them of God. Using the senses can be helpful when praying.
- Some people like variety and change. They may like to pray intuitively and imaginatively, making connections along the way. They do not need to think through everything.
- For some people it is important to understand things. They like to analyse and study and use this knowledge in their prayer. They may also wrestle with God to get to the truth of things.
- For others, their feelings are important. Having a personal experience of God can be most important.
It is suggested that you find your own preferences for prayer first and then try to develop some others outside of your comfort zone.
A way of bringing your day to God, using key questions. Take a few moments to relax and reflect.
1. When were you most able to give and receive love today?
Ask yourself what was said and done in that moment that made it so special. Breathe in the gratitude you felt and receive life again from that moment.
2. Ask God to bring to your heart the moment today for which you are least grateful.
When were you least able to give and receive love? Ask yourself what was said and done in that moment that made it so difficult. Be with whatever you feel without trying to change or fix it in any way. You may wish to take deep breaths and let God’s love fill you, just as you are.
3. Give thanks for whatever you have experienced.
The Welcome Prayer
The Welcome Prayer, ascribed to Thomas Merton, is a way of accepting God in everything and welcoming that everything that comes our way can be used to bring us closer to Him. The Welcome Prayer can help us find serenity through surrender in the midst of life’s messy, ordinary moments.
Welcome, welcome, welcome.
I welcome everything that comes to me today because I know it’s for my healing.
I welcome all thoughts, feelings, emotions, persons, situations, and conditions.
I let go of my desire for power and control.
I let go of my desire for affection, esteem, approval, and pleasure.
I let go of my desire for survival and security.
I let go of my desire to change any situation, condition, person, or myself.
I open to the love and presence of God and God’s action within. Amen