How to Pray

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Christians believe that God hears every prayer. But He does not answer our prayers in the way we might want or expect.

Many people are scared by the idea of praying. They think they will do the wrong thing or say the wrong words. Others think that if they don't go to church God won't listen. Some believe that God is not interested in our prayers. Many simply don't know how to start or what they should pray for.

If you feel any of this then we hope this page will help.

God hears every prayer

Christians believe that God hears every prayer. But He does not answer our prayers in the way we might want or expect. That's why Christians often pray for His will to be done. But God hears the prays of those who need and if there is something on your mind then you can simply put it into prayer for God. You don't need to know any prayers or have the right words to say. Simply picture Jesus in  your mind and say what you feel. You can pray anywhere at any time.

Prayer is not just for crisis

We don't all live our lives in crisis and God wants us to use prayer to help us be closer to him. By praying we can start to experience His love for us.

You can pray about

Things you want to give thanks for. Your home, family, good relationships in your life, occasions in your life.
People in power. World leaders, our government, members of parliament.
People who feel powerless. The poor, weak, helpless, hungry, sick, ill and bereaved
Yourself and your day

How and when you pray

There are no rules for how and when you pray. Traditionally people pray in the morning and evening as it gives a structure to the day. But the important thing is to chose a time that suits you. It may help to be quiet where you have time for yourself.

Some people think you have to kneel when you pray. Kneeling is the traditional way of praying as it is a symbol of humility. But you can pray walking, sitting, standing - however is best for you.

It may help to be creative. You could use music to help you focus. Some people also like to light a candle. Others may use items from nature such as stones or flowers to help them focus.

It may help to use someone else's words. We have printed the Lord's Prayer - the famous prayer that Jesus taught us  - on this page. Or you can visit the Church of England website for other prayers that can help. Otherwise church and cathedral bookshops sell prayer cards, books and bookmarks with rayers that can help.

Praying together

The Church of England believes it is important to pray together. Prayer forms an important part of any church service and many churches have groups that meet together regularly to pray.

About Christianity

Pray for our Diocese

Unite with others across the Diocese to pray for our churches, ministers and mission partners.
Get the latest Cycle of Prayer from here

The Lord’s Prayer

When Jesus was asked about how to pray he taught his disciples a simple prayer. This prayer has come to be known as the Lord's Prayer and is still a useful starting point for people who are wondering how to pray.

The Church of England tends to use two versions of this prayer in our services. We have printed them both here.

Version one (modern)
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.

Version two (traditonal)
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.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.