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For the answer Jesus gave please see The Lord’s Prayer below

People get very nervous and confused when the subject of prayer comes up.

Prayer is talking to God.

How to Pray

We talk to God like we would anybody else.  There is no need for big and extravagant words.

We call God “Our Father”. This was what Jesus suggested. You can say “Our Father” like the Lord’s Prayer.
You can Say “Lord”, You can say “Creator God” or anything that is comfortable. It is your choice.

“What Do I talk about?”

We talk about things that concern us. Things that have happened. Things we are worried about.

We also “Praise”  and “Thank” God.

“What is Praise?”

Praise is giving God glory for all the He is and has done. It is part of worship, but also part of prayer.
In the Lord’s Prayer it is “hallowed be your name” – basically we are acknowledging God’s sovereignty over the world and our lives.

“What do I thank God for?”

God created the world and all that is in. it. He made us and gave us life. He sent His son to save us from sin.
These are the general thanks.

We also thank God for specific help, for our health (or recovery from illness) for listening to our prayers and answering them.

What do I ask for?

We are not shopping. We are showing concern and asking for help and guidance. We ask God’s assistance, yes, but we acknowledge that in the end “Gods will be done” as we say in the Lord’s prayer.

“Does God answer prayer?”

Of course He does, but it is not always easy to see it or even understand it.

If something goes well then we know God has said yes. If something does not go as we want it might be that God said “no”.

God does not always answer quickly. It is not like asking a question on a computer.

The Lord’s Prayer

When the disciples wanted to know how to pray they asked Jesus and He gave a specific answer.This is how Luke tells it in his Gospel:

He said to them, “When you pray, say:

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come.

Give us each day our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,

for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.

And lead us not into temptation.

(Luke 11: 2-4 NIV)

But that is not the way we say it in church. Traditionally, in the Non-conformist Churches (not Anglican or Catholic) we say:

Our Father
Who art in  Heaven
Hallowed be thy name
Thy kingdom come
Thy will be done
On earth as it is in Heaven
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us
for thine is the kingdom
the power and the glory
for ever and ever

The reasons for the changes are complicated and there is not enough room to explain it all but here is a brief summary of what we are saying:

“Our Father” is the approach – like hello if you like. Jesus told us we could call God our father.

Who art in heaven – identifies God as our Heavenly father as opposed to our earthly one.

Thy kingdom come, on earth as in Heaven – is looking forward to the time when Jesus will return and God will be recognised by all people

Give us this day.. – we are not just asking for food, but for everything that helps us live – shelter, clothes and so on.

Forgiveness.- forgiveness is central to the Christian faith. We not only ask for forgiveness from God, He expects us to forgive those who wrong us also.
In asking for forgiveness we are acknowledging our faults and mistakes and telling God that we are not only sorry but that we will try not to do it again.

Temptation. God does not tempt us as such but we are asking for the mental and moral strengths to resist temptations however they may arise.

The last few lines were added by the early church in the belief that all prayers should start and end with praise.:
“For thine is the kingdom… is recognising God’s rightful place as the supreme power over all of the Universe.

Amen:  literally means “so be it”