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Teach Us to Pray: Guided Prayers

We've all been there: wanting to pray but struggling to find the words. While heartfelt, spontaneous prayer is beautiful, sometimes pre-written prayers can be a valuable tool.

Think of them as training wheels. Just like tracing letters helps a child learn to write, pre-written prayers can guide us in expressing our hearts to God. They can: focus our scattered thoughts, offer words when we're speechless, and even embolden us to approach God confidently

Reciting someone else's words might feel impersonal at first. But remember, the key is your intention.

  • Slow down and truly connect with the prayer.

  • Personalize it! Make the words resonate with your current situation.

There's no one-size-fits-all approach to prayer. It's not about achieving perfection, but showing up to connect with God.

Here are some pre-written prayers that you can experiment with:

  • The Lord's Prayer:  Jesus himself gives us a model to recite. Check out Martin Luther's teaching to his barber on how to utilize the Lord's Prayer in his life.

  • The Shama: This famous declaration of faith has been a prayer on the lips of God's people for decades.

  • The Psalms: The psalms are a prayerbook within Scripture. Here are some recommendations:

    • To begin your day with God: Psalm 5, 19, 20, 23, 25

    • When you are sad: Psalm 13, 22, 42, 77

    • When you are in distress: Psalm 57, 60, 86

    • When you are scared: Psalm 27

    • When you are hurt: Psalm 10

    • When you ache for more of God: Psalm 63, 84

    • When you want to repent: Psalm 51

    • When you are grateful: Psalm 9, 103

    • When you want to worship: Psalm 8, 148-150

  • CBR / Scripture Itself: Many use the A.C.T.S. model

    • Adoration

    • Confession

    • Thanksgiving

    • Supplication

  • The Jesus Prayer:  This short, meditative prayer ("Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner") places the words of the tax collector of Luke 18 onto the prayer's lips.

  • The Prayer of the Beloved:  This beautiful prayer emphasizes God's unconditional love and acceptance. It reminds us that we are beloved children of God, regardless of our flaws.

  • The Book of Common Prayer:  This historic prayer book, used by Anglicans and some Protestant denominations, offers a rich collection of prayers for various occasions, including daily readings, morning and evening prayers, and prayers for specific needs. Find it online or buy a copy.

  • Every Moment Holy:  This is a series of books each with curated prayers.

Remember, these are all starting points. Feel free to adapt them or use them as inspiration for your own heartfelt invocations. The most important thing is the sincerity of your heart as you connect with the divine.

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