What is Prayer?
We are learning to pray as we walk through the Christian life, following Jesus, practising what he taught, and looking to be more like him. As we know God loves us, we respond in love by praying: when you’re in a relationship with someone, you want to spend as much time with them as possible, so that’s why we pray.
Prayer is not………
Talking out loud or in your head to God who loves you
Giving time to listening to him as well
Offering thanks and praise to God for who he is
Asking for help for yourself or for others
Trusting that God will hear and answer in his time
Learning to live in God’s presence
Shouting at God (although he can cope with that too…..)
Demanding things are done your way
A push-button way to getting what you want
Prayer really does change things too: in you, in others around you, in the world.
"TO CLASP THE HANDS IN PRAYER IS THE BEGINNING OF AN UPRISING AGAINST THE DISORDER OF THE WORLD..." - KARL BARTH
How do I start to pray?
A good place to go for some ideas is the Bible: the Psalms, all of them, are mainly songs or prayers to God. Some of the words might be difficult to use these days, but others are just what is needed, and there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be prayed as if they were your own words. Jesus used the Psalms……..
There are copies of a free small booklet to help if you’re new to praying. It’s called Try Praying, and we have some at church, or you can contact us to request a copy.
Why bother to pray?
Starting point: God loves you, no question. If you know that, then think about this: when you know you are loved, then naturally you are drawn to the one who loves you. You want to be with them; spending time together strengthens your relationship.
So, there’s a good reason to pray! God loves you, wants a relationship with you, wants to meet with you in prayer.
Resources for prayer
There are many resources which can help with ideas, prayer prompts, teaching and guidance in your prayer life. It’s good to find the time, space and format that fits best with you and your life, as then you’ll be able to make prayer regular and constant.
A great online resource and a good place to start is 24-7 Prayer - dedicated to praying, and helping others focus on their prayer life.
Fancy an APP for a daily input to prayer life? Try Lectio 365 or Inner Room.
Prayer together at SRMC
Jesus said “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them...” - Matthew 18:20. Who wouldn’t want to build strength in faith with Jesus alongside? And that’s his promise, so it underlines how important it is to pray with other Christians together.
So at SRMC we encourage prayer when we meet: in church services, in home groups, before meals, in meetings and on special occasions together. We also have a regular weekly meeting, Kingdom Prayer, currently held on Zoom. This for an hour each Thursday evening, 7.30-8.30 pm.
External prayer events
Thy Kingdom Come – we have taken part in this national and international movement of prayer each Lent.
International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church – held each year in November, this is an opportunity to remember together those who are being persecuted in countries around the world for their faith in Jesus.