Starting out

Making a space for prayer

Jesus said: ' When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father who is unseen.' Matt 6.6 (NIV)

We can create a physical space somewhere in our homes - maybe using a favourite chair, or like Jesus, who climbed a mountain and prayed in a garden, there may be somewhere we like to go to be alone.

Perhaps there is a time in the day when we are by ourselves - walking the dog, going for a run, commuting to work, doing a household chore, or when we find ourselves awake in the middle of the night?

These times can be used to come to God in prayer. It is important to find space, even if it is only for a few minutes each day, to pray.

Using the space - becoming still

' Be still and know that I am God' Ps.46 v10

We can use various means to help ourselves to be still. We can sit comfortably and become aware of how we feel, we can focus on our breathing, or we can listen carefully to the sounds around us. There are guided exercises to help us quieten and still ourselves before God. Some can be found here.

We can repeat a verse of Scripture or use ' The Jesus Prayer' -

'Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me a sinner.'

This can be a helpful ' stiller' even if we are on the move.

We can write, draw, colour or doodle in a journal.

Shaping the space

It may help to use the pattern of prayer that Jesus taught his disciples:

Our Father in heaven, hallowed by your name,

your kingdom come, your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.

Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours

now and forever. Amen

We can think about this in terms of prayers of

  • adoration or worship
  • confession - saying sorry
  • giving thanks
  • supplication or asking for ourselves or others

We can also join in with Christians across the world using The Daily Office Northumbria Community prayers or http://www.justpray.uk

My prayer space

' Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.' (Matthew 10.29)

Remember, we are unique and individual; God knows us and loves us as we are - our time and place of prayer will express that.

We might light a candle or have a treasured object or picture. Some people find holding a pebble or a holding cross helps them to concentrate. Whether sitting, kneeling, standing, laying down or moving to change posture, however we choose to pray and communicate with God is fine. We may find listening to music, drawing, writing or reading help us during our time of prayer.

Some people find it helpful to write down the concerns that are on their hearts. Names or situations written on small pieces of card or paper and placed in a bowl can be a helpful prompt for prayer.

..... and our prayer times are likely to change as our lives and circumstances move on.