How To Pray
How to Pray!
When people come to me, seeking to deepen their lives in Christ, they ask me how to pray. While books and articles are written on this subject, I often lead people to one of the greatest resources of prayer. That is the Book of Common Prayer, which is available in book form or online. I am going to be throwing out page numbers and ideas to help those who are developing their prayer lives. As part of my ordination vows, I promise to read Morning Prayer every day. I can attest that this discipline has seen me through some pretty tough times and has allowed me to grow in the knowledge and love of the Lord Jesus.
Following the Monastic Model, there are several offerings for Prayer. There are two versions of Morning Prayer, beginning on pages 37 or 75. Noon Day Prayers are found on page 103. Evening Prayers are found on pages 61 or 115, with a shorter version found on page 109. Finally, there are bedtime prayers, called Compline. This service is found on page 127. Because people are so busy, the Book of Common Prayer also offers one page options beginning on page 137, which I call “Prayer Light”. Basically, what the Book of Common Prayer has prepared for you is a service to cover any excuse you might have. “You don’t understand, getting the children ready for school is chaotic”, then try Noon Day Prayers. “But I had a power lunch today”, then Evening Prayer. “But cooking dinner and getting homework done with the children; are you joking?” Then Compline is for you. “I just don’t have that much time to devote to prayers right now.” Prayer Light is just right for you. You see, we have you covered from morning to bedtime. You can find some time to converse with the Lord Jesus.
Until you feel comfortable creating your own prayers, the Book of Common Prayer has prayers already created for you. They cover most any topic you can think of, including graces before meals. A list of these prayers begins on page 810. These prayers will guide you and sustain you in your growth in knowing the Lord Jesus better. A regular time of conversation with the Lord Jesus will pay dividends through your day. An axiom which I have found true is: If you make time for God, God will make up the time for you. Enjoy getting to know Jesus better through prayer with Him.
The Reverend Paul D. Martin, Rector