What is prayer?

Simply stated, prayer is a conversation with God. God invites us to speak to him as ‘Our Father’ – to meet God at the centre of who we are and to be linked to the amazing love that is revealed in Jesus Christ. Prayer transforms individual lives, connects us to the community of God’s people and links us to God’s creative and compassionate work in the world.

How to pray

Prayer is about turning our hearts and minds to God, who is always turned towards us. We can say what we think and feel in prayer – we can be wholly honest. Just as we can communicate with each other in many different ways, prayer can take many different forms. Being prayerful can encompass silence – simply resting in God’s presence. Or it could be listening to a piece of music that lifts your heart or inspires your emotions. All things that enable us to look outside ourselves, considering the viewpoints and good of others, can be open doors to prayer – be that silence, music, art, literature, a long walk or giving or receiving a gift and so on.

In prayer we need to be ready to listen – to be receptive and open to the Holy Spirit. Sometimes we feel that something has happened when we pray; at other times nothing seems to happen. But prayer is about returning our hearts and minds to God, so that our sense of God’s presence grows as the relationship deepens.

Prayer needn’t be complicated. It could be just a few simple words of thanks or to express our feelings to God. Or you may find that starting with prayers that others are also praying is helpful. Church of England Daily Prayer.

Other links below explore a number of aspects of prayer and how to pray.

Prayer in Canterbury

Healing on the Streets

The Canterbury Healing on the Streets team offers prayers for healing every Saturday morning from 11.30 am on the corner of Best Lane. The team is made up of people from churches of different denominations in Canterbury: St Mary Bredin, City Church, New Life Pentecostal church, Vineyard, Canterbury Baptist church and the United Reformed Church. Visit the website at Healing on the Streets.

Prayer in workplaces, hospitals, prisons, universities and colleges

Prayer in workplaces, hospitals, prisons, universities and colleges is supported by Canterbury Diocese Chaplains and Sector Ministers.

Prayer in schools

Prayer station from a schoolMany of our church schools are discovering the positive impact of prayer stations – where children and young people perform an action that helps them to focus on aspects of their own spirituality and the mystery of God. It could be as simple as a jar with water and glitter: watching the stirred glitter settle is a wonderful quietening tool, or an outside labyrinth: following the path to the centre allows the participant to consider their journey along the way.

The Canterbury Diocese is working with schools to consider how such stations could be incorporated into classrooms, corporate areas and outside, to encourage students to pray in many different ways as part of their daily lives.

The following websites offer further information on prayer stations and spaces for children and young people.