Prayer at St Alfege
The church is open every day. Please do visit if you would like to light a candle or spend some time in prayer or in quiet reflection. You may also like to join us for Morning or Evening prayer or one of our services of Holy Communion. Details can be found here.
What is prayer?
Prayer is quite simply, putting oneself into God's presence. It can involve words - telling God our needs and concerns but it can also involve listening, spending time in silence to hear what God wants to say to us. God hears every prayer but does not answer every one in the way we might want. Prayer helps orientate us to God and to the needs of others.
Where can I pray?
You do not need to come to church to pray. All you need is some time, a suitable space and some silence. You can pray while walking or on the bus. Many people find it helpful to find a quiet spot (at home or elsewhere) where they can sit for a few minutes. Some find it helpful have a candle, a cross, or an icon to hand to remind them that this is a special time.
How can I pray?
You don't need words - sitting in silence in awareness of God's presence is a prayer in itself. However, you may want to use a set form of prayer. Here are some examples
The Lord's prayer
The prayer passed on by Jesus himself.
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
they 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.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
For ever and ever.
The Jesus Prayer
A short prayer which you can repeat and in which you can meditate on every word
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner
The Prayer of St Richard of Chichester (abbreviated)
Day by day,
O dear Lord,
three things I pray:
to see you more clearly,
to love you more dearly
and follow you more nearly,
day by day.
The Prayer of Sir Jacob Astley ('The Soldier's Prayer)
Said by Sir Jacob Astley on the morning of the battle of Edgehill in the English Civil War.
Oh Lord, Thou knowest how busy I must be this day.
If I forget Thee, do not Thou forget me.
A prayer for peace of mind and spirit
God of peace,
relax the tensions of my body,
calm the storms of my mind,
still the anxieties of my heart,
give me courage to wait.
Let the peace of God
flow through me,
flow from me,
flow in me.
The deep, deep peace of God.
The Book of Psalms is known as the 'prayerbook of the Bible'. Find a psalm that speaks to you and read some of it slowly as a prayer. You can find the psalms here
Other Bible passages
You may like to find a favourite passage from the Bible and use that for prayerful meditation. For example:
In him I live and move and have my being
(Acts 17: 28)
You may like to use one of the forms of daily prayer that the Church of England uses. You can find a contemporary version here
and the traditional Book of Common Prayer here
Prayers for our times
source of healing and comfort,
fill us with your grace,
that the sick may be made whole,
that those who care for us may be strengthened,
that the anxious may be calmed,
and those most vulnerable be protected
in the power of Spirit
in the faith of Jesus Christ our Lord.
(The Dean of Southwark Cathedral)
'The doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked' (John 20.19)
Ever present God,
be with us in our isolation,
be close to us in our distancing,
be healing in our sickness,
be joy in our sadness,
be light in our darkness,
be wisdom in our confusion,
be all that is familiar when all is unfamiliar,
that when the doors reopen
we may with the zeal of Pentecost
inhabit our communities
and speak of your goodness
to an emerging world.
For Jesus’ sake.
(The Dean of Southwark Cathedral)