Prayer Guide

A Prayer Guide: How to Pray

How do we pray?

Lets give us a hand in understanding how to pray.

We need to come closer to God, to experience His love for us and to try to make sense of where we are in the world. Prayer is the way we do this. Your fingers can be used to bring to mind different things to pray for.

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Hold up your hand

Thumb
This is the strongest digit on your hand. Give thanks for all the strong things in your life, like home and family, relationships that support and sustain you.

Index finger
This is the pointing finger. Pray for all those people and things in your life who guide and help you. Friends, teachers, doctors, nurses, emergency services and so on.

Middle finger
This is the tallest finger. Pray for all the important people who have power in the world, like world leaders and their governments, members of parliament and local councillors, the Royal Family, other world leaders and their governments.

Ring finger
This is the weakest finger on your hand. It can not do much by itself. Remember the poor, the weak, the helpless, the hungry, the sick, the ill and the bereaved.

Little finger
this is the smallest and the last finger on your hand. Pray for yourself.

This week’s Prayer Guide

Each week we long to give you a short guide to help you pray this week. Sometimes it will be out of the pew leaflet and at other times it will be inspired by the Holy Spirit in a fresh new direction.

Watch this space.

Or you can click on the Pew Leaflet section if you would like to read the Pew Leaflet in full.

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Questions about Prayer

So, you have some questions about Prayer?

Prayer is something we see mentioned in movies, books and on TV.

But how do we actually get close to God and pray in a meaningful way?

Here we answer a few of your questions.

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When should I pray?

Traditionally, prayer times have been morning and evening, but you can choose a time which is best for you. It helps to be somewhere quiet, where you can have some time for yourself.

Do I have to kneel?

Kneeling is the traditional posture for penitence and standing for praise, but you can pray anywhere – walking, standing, sitting, whatever feels comfortable.

What else do I need to know?

Be creative – use music, a stone, a feather, a flower, or a candle to help you focus – if you are very young, or elderly, be careful with candles!

Prayer activity is a discipline – it can be difficult at times, just like keeping fit, being on a diet, or keeping weeds down in the garden! Little and often is best, but don’t give up! No prayer, however inadequate you may feel it to be, is ever wasted or of no value.

Prayers for our Families

Train up a child in the way he should go:
and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Proverbs 22:6

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Dear Father

We pray for our families. We pray for them to be close in your embrace, close hearing your voice and following your guidance. We cannot always be close-by to our much-loved family members, so we pray for your touch, your hand and your voice to be close to them when we cannot. Please Lord, comfort our family members in hard times, guide them in times of decisions or confusion and encourage them at times when they need to persevere.

Most importantly, Lord, keep them close to you. As parents we can impart the love and truth of Christ and the knowledge of the Father, but only you can keep our loved ones close to you.

Father, at times when our children, brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers are going through real trials, come close to them. Let them know that they can “Be still and know that you are God”. Reach into our families and extended families and use every hardship and disappointment for your glory.

Prayers for our Nation

“If my people,
who are called by my name,
will humble themselves and pray
and seek my face and turn
from their wicked ways,
then will I hear from heaven and
will forgive their sin and
will heal their land.”

 

2 Chron. 7:14

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Father, please heal our land

While our nation queues to vote in Municipal Elections across South Africa, how can we pray to impact our nation?

  1. Pray with thanksgiving. As Philippians 4:6 says,  “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” We thank God for the miracle of peace and democracy in our nation.
  2. Pray with faith. Hebrews 11:6 says “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”
  3. Pray for strong leaders. “A leader of good judgment gives stability.” according to Proverbs 29:4.Father thank you for all you have done in our nation. Thank you for saving us from war, for democracy and for the start of racial restoration in our country. We pray for elections taht are free and fair. We pray for leaders of good judgement who believe in you and have a real heart for the people. We pray for leaders of integrity who will stand up and bring an end to corruption. We also pray for all political parties that they would lead all their members to be peaceful over the elections. Your will is perfect Lord and you put leaders in place. Amen

Prayers for Easter

“He will swallow up
death in victory;
and the Lord GOD
will wipe away tears
from off all faces.”

 

Isaiah 25:8

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He will wipe away every tear

Easter weekend brings us special family times and the joy of seeing young children hunt for Easter eggs. What else does it bring? Victory! A reminder that Jesus conquered death on the cross. His death enables us to access his power and victory over sin and death whenever we pray.

What tears would you like to see Jesus wipe away? Pray over issues in your family, your community and in our nation today. Pray with faith that God longs to see every tear wiped away.

Prayers for Lent

“Even now,” declares the Lord,
    “return to me with all your heart,
    with fasting and weeping and mourning.

 Rend your heart
    and not your garments.
Return to the Lord your God,
    for he is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and abounding in love,
    and he relents from sending calamity.”

                                                       Joel 2: 12-13

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Return to me with all your heart

This passage in Joel calls us to prayer that involves our heart and not just our words. This kind of prayer goes beyond what is on the surface. In Joel’s time people would tear their garments to show their distress or to demonstrate the seriousness of their pleas to God. Even this could become ‘just a show’. This passage calls us to prayers where we have come to the ‘end of ourselves’ and our hearts are torn instead of our outer garments.

Today, we a re called to prayer that ‘rends the heart’. What would you like to bring to God, that if you’re honest tears your heart in two? As you pray, don’t hold back, but let your heart get involved. Trust a God who is trustworthy, “slow to anger and abounding in love”.

As you pray, read this scripture again and again, allowing it to change your heart and how you see the Father is “slow to anger and abounding in love”.

Finally, ask Him to “send a blessing” as he is joyful about the open state of your heart.