RE:QUESTA space for resources to help RE teachers and their students explore the Christian faith
Lat Blaylock, Editor, RE Today
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Different Ways of Praying
Most Christians pray to God on their own, spending time focusing on him. This involves organising a time when they will be on their own in silence. They might use something, often some verses from the Bible that mention God, to help them focus on him.
For example, this verse from the Psalms says:
"The Lord is my Shepherd, I will lack nothing" (Psalm 23:1)
They might think closely about the words, using their imagination to picture a shepherd carefully watching over a sheep. They might ask God to help them understand more about what He is like through the words, or help them obey what He has said to them, in order to grow closer to God.
Some Christians hold prayer vigils. A vigil is a night of prayer where they come to a venue to pray together. Jesus often prayed at night, and he spent all night praying alone before choosing his twelve disciples (Luke 6: 12-13). Christians also like to pray at night, when it is quiet and peaceful, and they can leave behind the worries of a busy day. They feel that God is close to them then, and they can listen to him speaking to their heart.
Sometimes churches organise a vigil before festivals, such as Easter. It gives people the opportunity to really think about the meaning of the day. A vigil may also happen at a time of particular need, like a vigil for peace or in remembrance of someone who has died.
At other times Christians may pray in very creative ways. This may include using the arts - song, painting, poetry, sculpturing, and photography - as a way to pray. It may include blowing bubbles or dropping rocks in water - anything that helps a person to focus on God can be used in prayer.