Diocese of Manchester

    How do you pray?

    Bishop David writes:

    From time to time I'm put in the awkward position of being asked to provide a copy of a prayer I have made at some public event. The embarrassment comes from the fact that on most occasions I have little recollection of the words I used.

    Prayer is about allowing ourselves to become conscious that we are in the presence of God, and then letting what words or actions will, flow. If I can remember my words, it probably means that my heart and mind were not as fully turned to God as I had intended.

    Letting ourselves become conscious of the presence of God is, of course, much easier said than done. Our minds are full of distractions and our senses bombard us with sights, sounds, smells and all manner of feelings, which tend to turn our attention from the spiritual to the material.

    In response I have sought to develop techniques that use those very same senses and our power of imagination to put God into the centre of our attention. Try praying while listening to appropriate music, or find a picture to look at that brings your focus to God. Grip a small wooden cross, or place something sweet or bitter tasting in your mouth.

    There are no right or wrong answers; what matters is that whatever you do makes you so aware of God that you cease to be aware even of your own words.

The Church of England Diocese of Manchester,
Church House,
90 Deansgate,
Manchester M3 2GH

Manchester DBF Company number 149999, Charity number 249424
Telephone: 0161 828 1400