Friday, June 28, 2013

Prayer resources

So far in this prayer series, there have been three books about prayer:

There have been five posts about praying with children and in families (1, 2, 3, 4 & 5).

Finally we turn to some prayers themselves.  I'm sure there are plentiful resources of written prayers around.   Here are four ideas:

1. Old Service Books
If you grew up in a Christian home or if you have connections to older Christians or ministers, chances are they are some old Books of Common Order/ Common Prayer or Books of Services and  Prayers lying around. Get your hands on them if you can.  Of course, it is very possible you attend a church that still uses a prayer book of some type - fantastic!  Do you realise the resource sitting in front of you? 

Some are full of prayers for all times of the year, for all sorts of life situations and have many prayers praising God and Jesus.

I am very privileged to possess two old service books of my Grandad's:
  • The Book of Common Order of the Church of Scotland (1940).  Inscribed as being presented to my grandfather in 1965.
  • A Book of Services and Prayers (for churches of the Congregational Order), 1959
I tend to rewrite the ones I like the best into more modern language, so they feel more natural to pray.
I think our predecessors did a much better job of praying than many of our generation do, so I like to learn from them and keep using their prayers.

2. The Valley of Vision: Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions
About 200 prayers about God, Christ, his saving work and specific to situations and circumstances. Yes, they are old-fashioned and are full of thees and thous, which I have to translate as I pray to make any sense of them. Some are a bit archaic, but some are absolute gold. The ones I especially like I have rewritten in modern language and expressions which I find more natural to pray.  A great resource.

3. Prayers from the bible
The bible is a source to be harvested for prayer.  I know it sounds obvious, but it doesn't mean we automatically do it!  Psalms are often already prayers or easy to turn into prayers and many of Paul's prayers can be prayed verbatim.  But whenever you read the bible, be willing to turn whatever you have read into a prayer - whether praise of God, confession upon realisation of sin, the desire to be changed aligning with God's word.  Have a pen and notepaper handy and try it.  You will find yourself praying from the bible more and more. 

4.  The Prayer Project
I have decided to restart my prayer blog again - one prayer per week, either from the bible, one of the sources mentioned above or just perhaps from my own thoughts.  Perhaps you might also find them helpful to get you started.

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