What’s prayer?

As we pray we’re participating in a relationship with God. In this way Christians pray about a number of things, including praising God for who he is and what he’s done for us, thanking him, confessing and repenting (saying sorry for the ways we’ve disobeyed and hurt him, and asking for his help to stop and change), asking things for other people, and even asking things for ourselves.

All Saints Church Jakarta

God works through prayer

One of the ways God works in this world is through prayer. So when we pray we’re genuinely involved in God’s work on earth. Praying for other people is one way we can love and serve them. As we look at the prayers of people like Jesus and the Apostle Paul in the Bible (e.g. Col 1:3-14, Eph 1:15-19, 3:14-19, Phil 1:3-11), we can see they pray with priorities that reflect God’s. This models for us that when we ask God for things, while we’re free to pray about anything, it’s great to pray for things we know God wants and are good for us and other people. This is less asking for ‘favors’ (like winning the lottery) and more about asking for God’s will to be done (growing in faith and godliness, persevering in adversity, relief from suffering, the spread of the gospel etc). We can trust that God answers our prayers according to his good purposes which will mean him working for our God and his plans for the universe rather than God being our own personal ‘magic genie’.

Child prayer

Praying with your child helps them to understand the importance of prayer, but above all builds their relationship with God. But how can children pray? A simple way to start to pray together is to pray a TeaSPoon prayer:

T- say ‘thank you’ for something
S- say ‘sorry’ for something
P- say ‘please’ for something

Example prayers

Not only do children need help in prayer but adults don’t always know where to start either. The funny thing is though: there is no wrong way to pray, just talk like you would to a good father! In history people have been praying a lot, some of the prayers were written down to inspired people. To help you pray in different occasions, here are a few prayers.

Prayer when facing an operation

God of compassion and mercy, you never fail to sustain and comfort those who seek your help. Give strength and peace to name, now facing an operation. Enable ... to know that you are near and deliver ... from fear. Give wisdom and care to those who minister to .... (especially …). We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayer for good government

Gracious Lord, grant to our governments and all who serve in public life wisdom and skill, imagination and energy. Protect them from corruption and the temptation to serve themselves. Help us all to commit ourselves to the common good, that our land may be a secure home for all its peoples, through Jesus Christ the Prince of Peace. Amen.

Prayer for the aged

Lord God, look with mercy on all for whom increasing years bring isolation and distress. Give them understanding helpers and the willingness to receive what is offered. As their strength diminishes, increase their faith and their assurance of your love. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.