Lord, Teach Us To Pray

@Nancy_Wiens Pastor Wiens just posted a fascinating note about restful kinds of prayer. Breath Prayer: An Ancient Spiritual Practice Connected with Science - Article - BioLogos I appreciate her insight. I have had questions about types of prayer that help in various times. Listening to my 11, 8 and 5 year old children has also been inspiring as we talk about our relationship with God. Has anyone else found helpful ways? Quotes?

When it all comes down, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us, as written in one of my favorite verses:

Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

C S Lewis apparently always knelt to pray–his wife Joy was impressed to find him kneeling by their bed when they were first married. I believe he wrote that we should never underestimate the power of how we adjust our selves in subjection to God. @Daniel_Fisher, our C S Lewis aficionado, may be able ot comment here.

The ACTS prayer suggestion goes like this, and has helped me some; but meditation and the breath prayer have been variations.
The ACTS method of Christian prayer goes like this:

•Adoration: Give God praise and honor for who he is as Lord over all.
•Confession: Honestly deal with the sin in your prayer life.
•Thanksgiving: Verbalize what you’re grateful for in your life and in the world around you.
•Supplication: Pray for the needs of others and yourself.

Jesus recommended that we pray in the closet, so no one would honor us for what we did; but corporate prayer (The Book of Common Prayer was one of the most beautiful works I’ve read) is also, I think, helpful.

Dallas Willard, in “The Spirit of the Disciplines,” speaks of prayer as essential in bringing us to be like Christ.

Does anyone else have a way they have found helpful to pray?



Love this, will use these tips to better enhance my prayer life which we all need to build up like how one needs to build up the body. God bless

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Pastor Wiens also posted on the other thread the above advice for praying with children–it seems that as it is a delight to watch children grow and learn about the world, prayer also affords that sort of learning joy.

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My life was literally changed in a youth camp at the age of 13 when the speaker took the Lord’s prayer and broke it down into a model of prayer.

Our Father, hallowed be thy name.

Praise. Pray that everyone would come to know and respect the Lord. (Our Father, let everyone respect your name.)

Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.

Pray for God’s kingdom and the future. Let God establish his kingdom of peace and goodness.

Give us today our bread for tomorrow,

Pray for daily concerns and physical needs. But this shouldn’t be all that you pray about, or the bulk of your prayers to God!

Forgive us our sins,
As we forgive those who have hurt us.

Confession and forgiveness of others.

Spare us from trial,
Rescue us from evil,

Strength and help from the Lord to resist evil.

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever.

Praise God! Amen.

I think something like this is more appropriate for older kids, but any kid who knows the Lord’s Prayer by heart could be taught to pray along these lines. I would use a “scaffolding” technique, which is simply I DO - WE DO - YOU DO. The parent would lead the prayer for a while to give the child an example to follow. The next phase is leading the prayer and inviting the child to participate. The final phase is having the child lead the prayer, and then taking ownership of their own prayer lives.


I have found that gratitudes before meals and nightly prayer time with my daughter acted as the seedbed for our deep and caring relationship across the years and now into her early adulthood.


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