Prayer is at the very heart of the Christian life because God has planted it within us.
Maybe you don’t think of yourself as a Christian but from time to time, you have found yourself praying? Have you ever prayed to God in a time of crisis? Have you ever found yourself rejoicing at the wonder of life and felt your spirits raise? These are all signs of the prayer.
Prayer is the most amazing gift that God has given humanity. It is our ability to communicate with Him and for Him to communicate with us. Scripture, reason and experience shows us that we aren’t alone and faith, in the believer, confirms that.
Some basic Christian prayers you can try to learn by heart:
SIGN OF THE CROSS
So how do we pray? How should we pray?
The church actually teaches us that prayer is first and foremost God’s gift to us but it is also a wonderful example of the co-operation of God and humanity. God inspires us to pray and we respond by saying “yes, God” allowing ourselves to open up before God and letting our hearts cry out to him.
There is literally nothing you cannot share with God. He knows all the secrets of our hearts. The saints often got angry with God, therefore you must not try and hide anything from him. When you pray, talk to him and ask him for help and support. You might want to use your imagination, use a formal written prayer, or just talk to him. The most important thing about prayer is not how you pray but that you pray. Little and often is best.
The Lord’s Prayer as it is known is a wonderful prayer to learn by heart for it also teaches us how to pray in every circumstance. Jesus taught his friends how to pray like this:
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be 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 for ever.
Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy Will be done,
on earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen.
(good to say on first waking up and on falling asleep)
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
THE APOSTLE'S CREED
(A summary of what the Church teaches, and of what Christians together believe)
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.
THE HAIL MARY
(A traditional Christian prayer asking for the intercession of the Holy Virgin Mary)
Hail Mary, full of grace! The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.