St Luke's Church, Eccleshill, Bradford, UK
Bringing the good news of Jesus to the people of Eccleshill.
"Prayer" is communicating with God. We all stand on the level with God, and no-one else can tell us how we ought to pray. So let the vicar be quiet on this subject!
Except ... if we want to communicate with the real God instead of a god we made up, we should pray the way God said he wants us to!
We Christians believe God has revealed himself in the bible and particularly in Jesus, so we have always tried to pray the way Jesus said and the way the bible says.
Jesus taught a prayer - the "Lord's Prayer". He called God "Father" ("Abba", which means "Daddy" in the language he used). Jesus taught us to ask, to seek, and to knock in prayer, and to relate to God as we would relate to a loving Father. Some of the first Christians' prayers are recorded in the Acts of the Apostles. St Paul advises us to "pray constantly", and in the Old Testament one of the psalms says "I will praise you seven times a day".
This is why monasteries and religious communities originally had 7 services each day. But 7 a day is too much of a straightjacket - it makes something which should be free into a system of rules. And it's too much of a burden for people who have to work and look after families and do other things in life. So the Church of England combined them into two services - Morning and Evening Prayer.
What do we do in Morning and Evening Prayer? Three things:
More recently the Church of England has also launched "Prayer during the day" (to help us with private "Quiet Times") and "Night Prayer" (also called "Compline") have been launched in the Church of England.
It's part of the clergy's job to pray, but for too long the ordinary people have left it to the clergy and not joined in - and the clergy haven't helped them. Isn't it time this changed?
The above forms an article to appear in December 2004's Link magazine. But it's easier to write about prayer than to pray. So here are some prayers for our church at Eccleshill. Please pray them as you read them through. (We prayed them in church on November 21st.)
Dearest Lord, as we come into the warmth of your presence, please help us to empty our selves of all our misconceptions and all the things that block out your golden grace. We are so often full of our own opinions, fears and resentments that we fail to see clearly the life that you wish us to lead.
For our church:
We pray for all the clergy of this world, please give them peace and joy in their hearts. Draw them closer to you so that strengthened by your grace they are able to guide and correct us.
For the sick, suffering, dying and bereaved:
Help us to be cheerful with those who are downhearted and comforting to those who need to be comforted.
To help us through the mechanics of which words to use, we are providing on this web site a link to the Church of England's daily services, which have all the bible readings and the seasonal psalms added in so they can be used without any fuss. You'll find the links in the left-hand column of this page (at the top and opposite). It is also possible to find the Book of Common Prayer services (in old language) by clicking on the link below and following the directions there.
Top of page.
We are grateful to Bradford Diocese for hosting this site.
This web page was last updated on 21st December 2004.