Pray with us
Prayer is how people of faith express our relationship with God. It is what makes faith a living and dynamic experience that puts God at the centre of everything we do. It can also be an aspect of Christian life that people often find difficult.
Michael Ramsey, a 20th Century Archbishop of Canterbury, often spoke of the way he found prayer – especially starting prayer – problematic. He once wrote:
If in sincerity you cannot say that you want God, you can perhaps start out by telling God that you want to want him.
That suggests that prayer is a lifetime’s journey, where we start out tentatively, feeling our way as we discover new landscapes and horizons. It is a journey in which we begin to realise that we are not alone, but make our way in company with God who becomes our companion along the way.
Very often people think that prayer is simply about asking for things, for ourselves and for others and, perhaps, getting frustrated when we do not seem to get what we expect. If we understand prayer as friendship with God, we will soon realise that a friend who spends all their time only asking for things will soon become wearisome. Good companions enjoy things together, they widen their horizons by reflecting on the state of the world and the needs of people in the news. Sometimes they may question one another, ask to be forgiven for poorly chosen words and deeds, or want to say ‘thank you’ for the unexpected blessings of life. Often they will be content to be in one another’s company without the need for words, simply enjoying the shared silence.
The most important aspect of prayer is wanting to begin – and by remembering that we have all been beginners who have needed to find our own starting place.