Hove Methodist Church
Our Prayer Life

Prayer for this week

God, source of all freedom, on this Holocaust Memorial Day we pray to you. 

We remember the freedoms stolen from millions of Jewish, Sinti, black, gay, disabled people and other groups despised by the Nazis in the lead up to and during the Second World War. 

We remember the lives lost in that War and in genocides since, in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. 

We remember that today, in the UK and around the world, millions of people face prejudice, discrimination and hostility simply because of their identity. 

God, source of all freedom, help us to find courage to challenge attitudes of hate and intolerance, help us to work for the protection of fragile freedoms that we often take for granted. 

Help us to see in others your image and to love our neighbours, that all might live in peace. In the name of Christ

Introduction to our prayer life

Why we pray

Prayer is how we communicate with God. In prayer, we open ourselves up to God and call for God’s Holy Spirit to flow through us to enable us to live as Jesus Christ showed us.

The Holy Spirit

We believe that God is in everyone and everything. God is not ‘out there’ but in and around the whole of creation.

The Holy Spirit has existed since time began, and Jesus lived his life perfectly full of this Spirit, showing us how we can choose to live our lives.

The Spirit is the thing that activates the presence of God in all of us. It dwells in us, guides us, gives us life, connects us with God, helps us to pray and enables us to act out the will of God.

What we pray for

There are some main types of prayer. Your personal prayers may contain elements of several of these. There are no set rules.

  1. Meditation – a God-centred time of reflection, which is often in silence.
  2. Adoration and Praise – saying thank you to God.
  3. Lamentation – expressing our sadness when things aren’t going right.
  4. Confession or admission – apologising for what we’ve done wrong or for hurting people.
  5. Thanksgiving – to say thank you to God.
  6. Intercession – praying for others, people we know, our community, our leaders and for ourselves.
  7. Response –praying together and responding in unison as a church community.

How do we pray?

How do we pray is a good question! Prayer is a personal thing, and so how we pray is what works for us.

It may be as we walk, in a quiet corner at home, while we travel to work, in a church, or anywhere and at any time that works for us.

We pray together in Church, but it is also an intimate act we engage in daily.

Jesus said:

But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.

Matthew 6 v6

Creating a prayerful habit

John Wesley wrote:

“All that a Christian does, even in eating and sleeping, is prayer when it is done in simplicity, according to the order of God.”

The important thing is that our prayer life becomes like breathing for us. It becomes a part of our lives that we don’t start to notice but fills us with the life-giving Holy Spirit, which enables us to create a deeper relationship with God.

When we approach prayer, we can remember the words of Jesus in Matthew 6 v 9-13 and Luke 11 v1-4 where he teaches us how to pray using the Lord’s prayer.

He starts by saying, ‘Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name’.

We all have different understandings and experiences of who or what God is.

So this may be a helpful way for us to draw ourselves nearer to God using the more inclusive language of today:

‘Loving God, who exists in a different dimension to us and at the same time is within us all and everything, you are the creator of the universe and the most sacred and holy thing in existence.

We come to you knowing that your love is greater than we can imagine, generous beyond belief and freely given for everyone on the planet…’

Don’t forget there is no wrong way to pray; approaching prayer in a way where you intend to deepen your relationship with God through the work of the Holy Spirit will enrich your prayer life and your whole life and the lives of the people around you.

And if you find your mind wanders as you pray, just recognise this and bring your focus back to this being your personal connection with our loving God.

Try it. You can’t go wrong, and in the Spirit, your life can only be enriched.

Quote of the Day

This Sunday

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