We aim to be a loving and welcoming Christian community:
honouring God in worship, following Christ in our lives and participating in his mission.

The Parish Office, 1 Halmer Gate, Spalding, Lincolnshire, PE11 2DR


Tel 01775 722772


parish.office@stmaryandstnicolas.org.uk

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Ways to Pray


There is no one right way to pray because we are all different. Pray in the ways that you can and don’t worry about what doesn’t fit the way you are.

Praying with our senses

Prayer of our hands

Get into a comfortable position to pray - decide whether to sit, stand or kneel… Put your hands in front of you, one on top of another, forming a cup (as if you were holding a butterfly inside).

Think about something that is bothering you (an anxiety, a worry, a grudge, a hatred, a distraction…) Name it specifically to yourself. Imagine that you are holding it in the cup of your hands.

Now hold your hands away from your body as if you are giving that thing to God.

Then open your hands with the palms facing downwards, and imagine that thing falling away from you onto the floor.

Turn your hands palm upwards and ask for the Holy Spirit to fill the void of what you have just let go.

You can repeat this prayer with anything else that is getting in the way of your living or praying, and that you would like to hand over to God.


Stones/water

Choose a stone or pebble. Look at it, noting its shape, its regularity or irregularities, its colour. Feel its smoothness, its texture, its cold that becomes warmer in your hand. Feel its weight.

Think of the forces that have gone into its making…

Now it is small and still and yours.

Does it say anything to you about God, yourself, etc?

You may like to dunk it in a bowl of water…

Feel the water on your hand…

What does this do to the stone's appearance?

In what may might you need washing, cleansing, transforming?

What is water to you? Think of what has gone into its making…

Turn your thoughts into prayer…


Pray-dough

Maybe you're one of those people who finds 'doing' more helpful than writing or thinking…

Take a lump of 'playdough', and put it on a piece of paper.

Pick it up - knead it, feel it, work it. Work it into whatever shape or model might express your prayer - what you would like to say or offer to God, or an expression of what God means to you.

It doesn't matter what the finished article looks like - it can be quite abstract! This is just an opportunity for you to shape, if you want, a prayerful expression to God.

Praying with Scripture

When you are reading the Bible make it personal.


Read 1 Peter 5:7: "Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you. ", turn that verse into a prayer: "Loving Lord, I'm going to trust you for all my worries. I know you will take care of me."

Do this with Scriptures that express needs and also with those that praise or thank God.


Run a bath. Lie down in it and think about every part of your body moving up from your toes as you pray Pslam 139:14 “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well.”

Praying Together

Find someone to pray with regularly.

Plan to meet once or twice a week. It's a good way to take friendship to a deeper level.

Praying with our imagination

The news

Read a news clipping. Think about what it must be like to be the people involved in that story or the people involved with or affected by them.

Begin to pray for the people involved from the position of having 'stood in their shoes' in your imagination.


The basket

In your imagination, visualise a large basket. Place into it, one by one, people or situations or sins or hopes which you want to give to God.

Then see yourself picking up the basket and taking it to Jesus and giving it to him (or placing it at the foot of the cross if you find this easier).


Fruit

Look at the fruit bowl and then choose a piece of fruit… Look at it carefully - notice the colours, and how they vary according to the light and shadows. Touch it and feel its skin, its texture.

So many different fruits, so many colours and texture - yet all still fruit.

Jesus said 'I am the vine, you are the branches. If a person remains in me and I in them, they will bear much fruit'.

Think about the fruits you bear, or that you might bear.

What are you good at? What are you good for? Who are you good for?

Cut a little piece of your fruit now, and taste it.

Notice its special taste, its sweetness.

What do you do, what might you do, to make life a little sweeter for others?

You might like to eat your fruit now as you think about it.

Praying with words and pictures

Keep a notebook

Write out questions, heartaches and struggles. Be creative. Put your prayers into poems.

Go back and read your journal entries in a week or a month. Think of how God has answered your prayers, make a note and say thank you. When you're feeling down you can remind yourself of God's goodness and love for you.


Choose a photo or post-card that attracts you.

Spend some time in quietness looking at it.

What does it say to you about God, yourself, etc?


Calendar or diary

Look ahead to what you have planned and pray for everyone who will be involved and for yourself, ask for help when you are facing something that will be difficult, and share your feelings about the things you are looking forward to.

Praying with Activity

Take a prayer walk.

Take a walk in the countryside and praise God for his beautiful creation. Walk around your neighbourhood and pray for the homes you know, for schools, businesses and doctor’s surgery etc.


Dance

Put on your favourite tracks (worship songs are optional) and express what you feel by moving to the music.


Sing or make music

“Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord.” Ephesians 5:19 Turn a pop song about love into a prayer to God or sing anything which makes you joyful.


Run

“Let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us.” Hebrews 12.1 Make exercise your offering to God.