Life

Christian Spirituality -Prayer as an act of worship

How and why do Christians pray?

Prayer

Do you know anyone who prays? Some people pray regularly but sometimes prayer isn’t something people give much throught to at all. People pray in many different ways for lots of reasons. Christians see prayer as an important part of their relationship with God, after all talking to a loved one is a normal part of life.

Sometimes people can struggle with the concept of talking to someone that can’t be seen. People can wonder if they are talking to themselves. Praying to God isn’t the same as having a conversation with a human being but Christians believe that it’s important to be aware that God is present, He is listening and that He does answer. Watch this film to find out how Christians believe God speaks to them.

Christians believe that God is all knowing as well as always being present and all powerful. So if God knows it all why pray?

Knowing that God already knows is a great place to start because one doesn’t have to explain or put on a show for God, He is there for someone just as they are, they don’t have to change or do anything special before they approach Him. Christians believe that prayer changes them and that it is about listening as well as talking. Christians also believe that God has given people free will but that God loves people and wants to be deeply involved in their lives.

By inviting God into situations He can help improve situations when they are difficult, support people through struggles, comfort people with His presence and bless their lives. Christians believe that God should be involved in every aspect of life and celebrates with people in their joys and draws close to them in their sadnesses. Christians also believe that they are family together. When they pray they are joining with many others around the world who are doing the same.

Christians believe that as they spend time with God they grow in love more. That helps them to understand God’s will better and creates a greater awareness of what is going on and situations and people they should care about. Christians believe that it’s important to be thankful when they pray and to have an attitude of thankfulness in general, remembering all the good things in their lives and in the world. Christians believe that it’s still important to be thankful even when things are difficult.

Sometimes Christians find it helpful to spend time praising God in prayer as it reminds them of how powerful God is and how they need to trust Him. Praying is an act of faith and believing that God can change a situation is an important reason Christians talk directly to God. Some Christians also pray to the Virgin Mary and other saints but this is not the same as prayer to God, it is more a request for the prayers of the saints on the person’s behalf.

Intercession is an important part of prayer. It means to speak on behalf of someone and many Christians feel compelled to pray regularly by petitioning God on behalf of people or circumstances, asking God to intervene especially when humanly speaking a situation seems impossible. Christians use the Lord’s prayer as Jesus’ example of how to approach prayer and the line “your will be done” ultimately acknowledges that God is in control and knows the right response.

Why not hear what the Archbishop of York has to say about prayer or watch this film about how some Christians like to pray.

 

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Houses of Parliament

CARE – Christian Charity

What is CARE involved with?

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Making a Christian difference for the sake of the future. CARE (Christian Action, Research and Education) has its roots in the 1971 Nationwide Festival of Light which took place in Trafalgar Square on 25 September 1971. By early evening, 60,000 Christians had gathered together, with […]

Stations of the Cross

What happened on Jesus' journey to the cross?

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  • Timeline
stations (12)

Stations of the Cross

What happened on Jesus' journey to the cross?

  • Festivals
  • Timeline

Ascension Day

What is remembered on Ascension Day?

  • Festivals
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Ascension Day

What is remembered on Ascension Day?

  • Festivals
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Easter is the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection – when he came back to life after being crucified. But the gospel story does not end there. The next chapter comes on the day known as ‘Ascension Day’. It is the day when Christians believe Jesus returned […]

Christmas

What makes Christmas so special?

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Christmas

What makes Christmas so special?

  • Festivals
  • Video

Christmas is probably the most popular of all Christian festivals. From the beginning of September shops and restaurants are getting ready for the ‘Christmas rush.’ Most schools will put on Christmas plays, in towns Christmas lights decorate the streets and Christmas trees can be seen everywhere. […]

The First Christmas

What do we learn about Christmas in the Bible?

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The First Christmas

What do we learn about Christmas in the Bible?

  • Festivals
  • Video

Christmas is an important time for Christians. It is the time when they remember God coming to earth in the form of a baby (this is known as the incarnation). In the Bible, Jesus is referred to as ‘Immanuel,’ which means ‘God with us.’ The […]

A Monk’s Life

What is a day in the life of a monk like?

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A Monk’s Life

What is a day in the life of a monk like?

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  • Timeline

Monastic Life

Could you live the life of a Monk or Nun?

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Monastic Life

Could you live the life of a Monk or Nun?

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Western Monastic life began with Saint Benedict (480-547) when he started the first Benedictine Monastery at Monte Cassino, Italy, in 529AD. The monks and nuns lived in separate monasteries. Even today, little has changed in the daily routine. The daily life is still guided by […]

Church in the Middle Ages

How did churches get their distinctive design?

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Church in the Middle Ages

How did churches get their distinctive design?

  • People
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Going to church in the early Middle Ages was a bit like going to a football match today – people came to watch as supporters, not to join in. The priest offered mass (communion) for the people at the altar, taking the bread and wine […]

History of the Early Church

How did the Church begin?

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History of the Early Church

How did the Church begin?

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The early Christian Church began in Jerusalem and the surrounding area and grew out of the Jewish tradition. Jesus and his disciples were all Jews. The first Christians therefore did not meet in separate churches but continued to meet in the local Jewish synagogues. St […]

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Celtic Thin Places – Lindisfarne

What is a thin place?

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The Holy Island of Lindisfarne is considered by many to be a ‘thin place,’ that is a place where the veil between the spiritual world and our own physical world is thin. In 633 Oswald fought and won a battle that established him as king […]

The Iona Community

What does a typical day look like?

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The Iona Community

What does a typical day look like?

  • People
  • Timeline

     

Celtic Thin Places

What makes a Thin Place?

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Celtic Thin Places

What makes a Thin Place?

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The Celtic people recognised the importance of certain places that they felt were ‘thin places.’ These were where they believed the spiritual world and our physical world met: where literally the veil between the two worlds was so thin that a person could sense the […]

St. Francis of Assisi

What was the life of this amazing man like?

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St Francis

St. Francis of Assisi

What was the life of this amazing man like?

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Many people all over the world and throughout history have chosen to join a movement started by St Francis of Assisi, born in Italy in the 12th Century. Discover more of his story here. What makes him such an inspirational figure?

Prejudice and the Bible

Is the Bible racist?

  • Issues
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Prejudice and the Bible

Is the Bible racist?

  • Issues
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Jesus was a victim of both religious and racial discrimination. Israel was under occupation by the Roman Empire, causing tension and animosity on both sides. There was hatred between the Jews and their neighbours of mixed race, the Samaritans (i.e. people from a region called […]

Music

How do Christians use music in worship?

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Music

How do Christians use music in worship?

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Music has always been important in worship – whether it’s with other people or by yourself. You’ll find a lot of singing in the Bible. It talks about angels singing constantly to God to praise him. The longest book in the Bible – the book […]

Giving

What do Christians think about giving?

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Giving

What do Christians think about giving?

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A good test of how much something or someone means to you is how much you are willing to give for it. You may spend a huge amount of money or effort on a gift for a special person. You may spend all your time […]

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How do Christians Pray?

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There are all kinds of different ways Christians choose to pray. Some Christians practice meditation. In this type of prayer a Christian will think deeply about God. This involves organising a time when you will be on your own in silence. You might use something […]

Prayer

What is Christian prayer?

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Archbishop of York

Prayer

What is Christian prayer?

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What kind of picture do you have when you hear the word ‘prayer’? Have you ever prayed? What did you pray about? Why did you pray? For many Christians, prayer is just the name they give to speaking to God. It includes listening and thinking, […]

Worship

How do Christians worship?

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Worship

Worship

How do Christians worship?

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What would you say is the most important thing in your life? How do you show that to other people? For some people the most important thing might be a football team. They might go to see them play regularly. They might have posters of […]

Good Friday

What do Christians remember on Good Friday?

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Good Friday

What do Christians remember on Good Friday?

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Good Friday is the Friday of Holy Week, the Friday before Easter Day. It is thought that the name Good Friday is an altered form of God’s Friday. But many people say that ‘Good’ Friday is an appropriate name: on this special day, God showed […]

Good Friday

How do Christians remember Jesus' death on Good Friday?

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Good Friday Walk of Witnesses

Good Friday

How do Christians remember Jesus' death on Good Friday?

  • Festivals
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Good Friday is both a time of sadness and a time of thankfulness. Sadness as Christians remember the suffering that Jesus endured but thankfulness as they think about how he suffered and died as a sign of God’s love for all people. Some Christians will […]

Pentecost

What do Christians celebrate at Pentecost?

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Pentecost

What do Christians celebrate at Pentecost?

  • Festivals
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Before Jesus returned back to heaven he set out for the disciples the work he now expected them to do: ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name […]

All Saints Day

What is All Saints Day?

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All Saints Day

What is All Saints Day?

  • Festivals
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All Saints Day is when Christians celebrate the lives of Saints – or Christians whose example is inspirational or important. They think about the good things that they said and did. All Saints Day falls on 1st November, and is a ‘Holy Day of Obligation’ […]

The Orthodox Church

What does an Orthodox Church look like?

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The Orthodox Church

What does an Orthodox Church look like?

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  Here are some images from inside an Orthodox Church. You can discover some of the worship in the Orthodox Church by watching this film.

Worship in the Free Church of Scotland

One person's experience of life in the Free Church of Scotland

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Worship in the Free Church of Scotland

One person's experience of life in the Free Church of Scotland

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This is one person’s account of their own experiences in a Free Church of Scotland: “I am part of the Free Church of Scotland. This denomination is very strong in the Western Isles of Scotland, where many of the services are in Gaelic, the traditional […]

Outreach in the Church of Scotland

How does the Church of Scotland care for the community?

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Outreach in the Church of Scotland

How does the Church of Scotland care for the community?

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Parish churches are at the heart of Scotland’s communities. They often still exist in villages or deprived urban areas where shops, banks and other institutions have disappeared. The Church delivers and supports a range of social care programmes in these and other communities through its Social […]

Sayings of Jesus

How much of what Jesus said do you know?

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Sayings of Jesus

How much of what Jesus said do you know?

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What did Jesus say while He was here on earth? Test your knowledge of what Jesus said about a range of different subjects…

Resurrection evidence

What happened to Jesus' body?

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Resurrection evidence

What happened to Jesus' body?

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After Jesus was crucified, his body was placed in a cave and a large rock was rolled in front of the entrance. Roman guards were ordered to stand and keep watch over it to ensure that the body wasn’t stolen. However, after three days, Christians […]

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St. David's Cathedral

St Davids Cathedral

Virtual Tour

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Who gave the Cathedral the Chapel of St. Thomas Becket? Who was Edward the Confessor? What sits in the shoulder of St Davids statue? Take a virtual tour of St. Davids Cathedral, Pembrokeshire, Wales. Click on one of the circles to see pictures and panoramas of the […]

Parables: The Unforgiving Servant

What did Jesus teach about the importance of forgiving?

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Parables: The Unforgiving Servant

What did Jesus teach about the importance of forgiving?

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Jesus taught people using stories called ‘Parables’. The Unforgiving Servant is a parable about forgiveness. Watch the film here and think for yourself: Are there things that you would forgive and things that you wouldn’t forgive? Should we forgive other people? When you do things […]

Church of England Worship

How is the liturgy used in the Anglican Church?

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Church of England Worship

How is the liturgy used in the Anglican Church?

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At the heart of the Church of England lies worship. Christians believe that it is through encountering God within worship that we are changed to be more like Jesus. One form of worship that is encountered in church services is liturgical worship. Liturgy simply refers to […]

The Church of England

What is life like in the Anglican Church?

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St Mary Magdelene Church of England

The Church of England

What is life like in the Anglican Church?

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The Church of England – also called the Anglican Church – has a long history. Its buildings which are used for worship on Sundays can date back hundreds of years. But despite its age, there is a lot of life and activity in the church […]

Churches Organisations

What organisations help Christians work and worship together?

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Churches Organisations

What organisations help Christians work and worship together?

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  • Timeline

Churches Together

Do Christians from different churches ever meet together?

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Churches Together

Do Christians from different churches ever meet together?

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There have always been different ideas around in the Christian Church. The Bible teaches that some things are really important – and on others we can agree to differ. Churches are united in central beliefs – for example, those in the Nicene Creed – and […]

Churches Together

How do churches work together in their communities?

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Churches Together

How do churches work together in their communities?

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Why did Jesus pray that his followers  ‘may be one?’ (John 17:21). What is the importance of unity for the church? How do different Churches in our communities meet and work together in? How do they celebrate their faith and share their commitment to loving […]

Worship in church

What happens inside a typical church?

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Worship in church

What happens inside a typical church?

  • Life
  • Timeline

Jesus is baptised

What happened at Jesus' baptism?

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Jesus is baptised

What happened at Jesus' baptism?

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Baptism was already popular in the time of Jesus. It demonstrated a person’s commitment to living God’s way rather than their own. Jesus had a cousin called John who baptised people. He was known as John the Baptist. John was a preacher. He told people […]

Jesus’ Teaching: Prayer

What did Jesus teach about prayer?

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Jesus’ Teaching: Prayer

What did Jesus teach about prayer?

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Prayer is important for Christians, as they believe it is one of the main ways through which our relationship with God can grow deeper. Just as we grow closer to our friends when we spend time with them, so Christians believe that in spending time […]

Jesus’ Teaching: Faith

What did Jesus teach about having faith?

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Jesus’ Teaching: Faith

What did Jesus teach about having faith?

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The dictionary states that the definition of faith is complete trust or confidence in someone or something. Jesus had absolute faith in God the Father and encourages people to have the same faith. One day Jesus’ disciples asked him to increase their faith but he […]

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What is a Christian?

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Perhaps the clue to what a Christian is can be found in the name. The word ‘Christian’ is actually a nickname – it literally means ‘little Christ’. It was a nickname given to men and women in the first century who went about talking about […]

Timeline of Jesus’ Life

What do the Gospels tell us?

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Timeline of Jesus’ Life

What do the Gospels tell us?

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What do we know about Jesus? How do we know about his life and work? What are the key features of Jesus’ life?

Jesus and the Christian faith

Why do Christians worship him?

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Jesus and the Christian faith

Why do Christians worship him?

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Jesus spent 3 years meeting and teaching people. When he died he left a devoted group of a few hundred followers. Today, 2 billion people worldwide call themselves Christians. What makes Jesus so central to Christians’ lives today? For many, he is seen in the […]

Jesus today

Why do people choose to follow Jesus in the 21st century?

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Jesus today

Why do people choose to follow Jesus in the 21st century?

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It’s easy to think of Jesus as somebody who lives in history books. But Jesus is really important to Christians– not just as somebody who said and did amazing things 2000 years ago but as somebody who is a friend to them today. Most Christians […]

The Resurrection

What do Christians believe happened on Easter Sunday?

  • Festivals
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The Resurrection

What do Christians believe happened on Easter Sunday?

  • Festivals
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What happened on Good Friday is important to Christians. But Jesus’ death on Good Friday isn’t the end of the story. Christians believe that Jesus did not stay dead, but came back to life three days later on Easter Sunday. This is known as the […]

Sin – what is it?

What do Christians mean by the word 'sin'?

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Sin – what is it?

What do Christians mean by the word 'sin'?

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Christians often talk about Jesus’ death as a way of bringing forgiveness for sin. But what is sin? Play the game and then read the explanation below. To play the game: The aim of the game is to fire a cannon ball from one side […]

Jesus’ death

What do Christians believe about why Jesus died?

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Jesus’ death

What do Christians believe about why Jesus died?

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Jesus died by being crucified. ‘Crucifixion’ means nailed to a cross. The cross was then lifted up outside the city walls (in Jesus’ case, Jerusalem) so everybody could see it. The people on the cross were then left to die in the hot sun. It […]

The Easter Story: Doubtless

Is the idea that Jesus came back to life too much to believe?

  • Festivals
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The Easter Story: Doubtless

Is the idea that Jesus came back to life too much to believe?

  • Festivals
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Would you believe that a dead person could come back to life? It would be understandable to doubt it. One of Jesus’ disciples, Thomas, has gone down in history as the one who doubted the reports of Jesus’ resurrection. This film is based on that […]

The Easter Story: Talk of the morning

What happened on the first Easter Sunday?

  • Festivals
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The Easter Story: Talk of the morning

What happened on the first Easter Sunday?

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The gospels say that Jesus didn’t stay dead. Lots of witnesses saw Jesus die on a cross on Friday – but by the Sunday there were rumours that the tomb was empty and that he had appeared to some of his followers – Mary Magdalene […]

The Easter Story: The Centurion’s story

What happened when Jesus was on the cross?

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Salvation

The Easter Story: The Centurion’s story

What happened when Jesus was on the cross?

  • Festivals
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The Bible says that Jesus died by being crucified by the Romans – that is, being nailed to a cross and left to die. The gospels quote a Roman soldier who watched Jesus die as saying ‘Surely this man was the Son of God.’ This […]

The Easter Story: Undeniable

What happened to Jesus' disciples after he was arrested?

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The Easter Story: Undeniable

What happened to Jesus' disciples after he was arrested?

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On the night before Jesus died – the night of his arrest – Jesus’ disciples ran away, scared for their lives. Peter was one of Jesus’ closest friends, but even he let Jesus down. During the Last Supper, which happened only hours before his arrest, […]

Jesus’ miracles: Turning water into wine

How did Jesus liven up a wedding party?

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Jesus’ miracles: Turning water into wine

How did Jesus liven up a wedding party?

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According to the Gospel of John, this was the very first miracle – or ‘sign’ as John calls them – which Jesus did. Jesus, his mother and his disciples were all guests at a wedding in Cana, in Galilee. At the reception, the wine runs […]

Jesus’ miracles: Power over nature

What did Jesus do in the middle of a raging storm?

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Jesus’ miracles: Power over nature

What did Jesus do in the middle of a raging storm?

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The Gospel writers were keen to show that Jesus had power over nature. One time Jesus and the disciples were in a boat on the Lake of Galilee late one night. A storm began. It was so strong that the boat they were in was […]

Jesus’ miracles: Raising the dead

What did Jesus do in the face of death?

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Jesus’ miracles: Raising the dead

What did Jesus do in the face of death?

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The gospels include stories of Jesus bringing people back to life.  Two of these are the raising of Jairus’ daughter and of his friend Lazarus. The story of Jairus’ daughter begins when Jesus is met by a large crowd on the side of Lake Galilee. […]

Jesus’ miracles: Healings

What happened when Jesus met people who were unwell?

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Jesus’ miracles: Healings

What happened when Jesus met people who were unwell?

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The stories about Jesus tell us that he healed many different people with all kinds of problems. The blind, the deaf, those who could not speak and those with diseases all found healing by Jesus’ touch or his command. But Jesus is also seen to […]

Jesus’ miracles: the feeding of the 5,000

How did Jesus treat people who were hungry?

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Jesus’ miracles: the feeding of the 5,000

How did Jesus treat people who were hungry?

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Miracles are often seen as signs by the Gospel writers to explain what sort of God Christians believe in and how Jesus his Son shows that. This story shows that Jesus can supply the basic needs we have – in John’s version of the story, […]

Jesus’ miracles: Jairus’ daughter

Jesus brings a girl back to life

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Jesus’ miracles: Jairus’ daughter

Jesus brings a girl back to life

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There are several stories in the gospels of Jesus bringing people back to life. In one story, Jesus heals a 12-year-old girl who has died. You can read about it Mark 5: 21-43 or watch a version of the story here.

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What is a miracle?

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When Christians talk about a miracle, they mean an event that is not ‘normal’ – that is, one that should not be able to happen according to the laws of nature. The Gospels describe 35 miracles that Jesus performed. Over half of these 35 stories […]

The Unforgiving Servant

What does it mean?

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The Unforgiving Servant

What does it mean?

  • Jesus
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The parables were stories Jesus used which enabled him to explain his teachings in a way he knew that the people would remember. They were also a means in which he could teach tough principles that were central to the Christian faith. One of these […]

The Lost Son

What does it mean?

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The Lost Son

What does it mean?

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‘The Lost Son’ is the third of a group of Jesus’ parables about the idea of losing and finding. In the first one, a shepherd has a hundred sheep and then goes looking for one who wanders off. In the second one, a woman who […]

Prodigal Lost Son

Parables: The Lost Son

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‘The Lost (or Prodigal) Son’ is a very famous parable. It is the last of three parables Jesus tells about ‘lost’ things – first a sheep, then a coin, then finally a child. In the parable, the father represents God. The son represents the people […]

The Good Samaritan

What does it mean?

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The Good Samaritan

What does it mean?

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We all have people that we find difficult to love, those we would rather not know or cannot ever say anything good about. Jesus is asked a question “Who is my neighbour?” – that is, whom am I responsible for? He does not give a […]

Parables: The Good Samaritian

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One of the most famous parables of Jesus is known as ‘The Good Samaritan’. Samaritans were a group of people living next door to the Jews. (The Jews were the first people to hear Jesus’ story.) The Jews and the Samaritans were enemies and avoided […]

Jesus’ parables

What is a parable?

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Jesus’ parables

What is a parable?

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A parable is an imaginary story used to teach people a moral lesson (for example, how to treat people in need) or a spiritual lesson (for example, what God is like). In some ways, stories help people to understand things better. But Jesus also said […]

Jesus’ teaching: Money

What did Jesus teach about money and giving?

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Jesus’ teaching: Money

What did Jesus teach about money and giving?

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Money. It can do wonderful things and change lives for the better. Equally, it can be a cause of stress, arguments and leave our lives in a mess. Having too much can make you greedy for more, having too little can make you desperate. The […]

Jesus’ teaching

What did Jesus teach people?

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Jesus’ teaching

What did Jesus teach people?

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Jesus was known as Rabbi or teacher as he taught people a lot about how they should live and the decisions they should make. But what exactly did Jesus teach about: revenge? worry? prayer? giving? These films show Jesus’ core teaching on these important issues.

What is the Bible?

Introduction to this best selling book.

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What is the Bible?

Introduction to this best selling book.

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Christians often refer to the Bible as ‘God’s Word’ and therefore see it as the most important book ever written. Although the Bible is more than 3000 years old Christians believe that, through this amazing book, God is still teaching, helping and guiding them today. […]

Jesus’ life and ministry

What do Christians believe about Jesus' life and ministry?

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Jesus’ life and ministry

What do Christians believe about Jesus' life and ministry?

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Jesus’ family Perhaps one of the most famous stories about Jesus is his birth: God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was […]

Questions about Jesus

What do we know about Jesus?

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QUESTION

Questions about Jesus

What do we know about Jesus?

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Did Jesus really exist? Yes. The New Testament part of the Bible tells us about who Jesus was, what he did, and why. But other writings by people who weren’t Christians also talk about a man named Jesus. Roman and Jewish historians such as Josephus […]

Christian Festivals

What are the big events that happen during the year?

  • Festivals
  • Timeline
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Christian Festivals

What are the big events that happen during the year?

  • Festivals
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Our calendar year is divided into four seasons – Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. Each season has its special characteristics, colours and associations. For example Autumn is often associated with harvest, and the orange and yellow leaves that blow around in the blustery wind. It […]