Modulo - Giving Life Meaning
Module 7 - Prayers and Praying

The first part of this Module is a 'Prayer Sheet' that gives an opening prayer for each module and a common closing prayer, which we suggest you use at the start and end of each session, although you can of course use your own words if you prefer.
The second part is a 'Simple Guide to Prayer' that explains some of the different ways of praying to help you grow your own relationship with God.
'Amen' is traditionally said at the end of a prayer. It's a Hebrew word that just means 'So be it' - it's a way of saying 'I agree' and so making a prayer said by others personal to us too.

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Clip Art, Cubes 7
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Prayer Sheet
Clip Art, Praying Hands Opening Prayer - Common for all Modules
Lord God, thank you that we have come together to find out more about you and ourselves. Give us patience to listen to each other and to share with others that bit of knowledge that we've each been given. Give us an open mind and, where we're unsure, guide our thoughts and make yourself clear, so that we may find meaning and happiness in our life...
...For Module 1 Add:
Thank you for selecting and guiding your people and for revealing their responses to us. Help us to learn from them so we may know more about you and about ourselves that we may live a life pleasing to you, to others, and to ourselves. We pray especially for....
Add any items you wish about current items of national or local concern,
and before ending add...

This we ask in Jesus' name, Amen.
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...For Module 2 add:
Thank you for coming to earth in the person of your Son, Jesus, in order to show us how to interpret your Laws, live a meaningful and fulfilling life by loving you and caring for others, and especially for making reconciliation between you and us for our sins. We pray especially at this time for....
Add any items you wish about current items of national or local concern.
and before ending add...

This we ask in Jesus' name, Amen.
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...For Module 3 add:
Thank you for the work of the Apostles in spreading knowledge of you and for creating the early church after Jesus returned to heaven. It's through their that efforts that we know about you today. Help us to be inspired by their selfless deeds and so be an effective witness to others in our own turn. We pray especially for....
Add any items you wish about current items of national or local concern.
and before ending add...

This we ask in Jesus' name, Amen.
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...For Module 4 add:
Thank you for those who've gone before us to take your church forward. Help us now to know where you want us to take your church for the future and to build your kingdom today. We pray especially for....
Add any items you wish about current items of national or local concern.
and before ending add...

This we ask in Jesus' name, Amen.
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Clip Art, Praying Hands Closing Prayer
It's good to close by one or more members of your group using their own words to give thanks for what happened at your meeting and, if necessary, asking for God's help with any doubt or disagreement; then all saying 'The Grace' together whilst looking round at each other, as follows:

The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, now and forever. Amen. (Return to top)
A Simple Guide To Prayer
Clip Art, Praying Hands
There are many different ways of praying dependent on the need and situation, no one way is 'correct', but if we're going to get to know God then we need to build a relationship with him and that has to work both ways, we need to listen as well as well as to talk. That means that it's not always necessary to use words to pray, we need to be quiet sometimes and listen for what God might be saying. That can be difficult for some of us who're not used to being quiet in our modern world. (Return to top)
Picture, Praying with Arms Outstretched
Where and How
We can and should pray anywhere, especially when we see a need, such as people around us in difficulty or for our own difficulty and success, but it's good to go apart at times from the busyness of everyday life so we can concentrate better. The position we use isn't important. Some like to sit or kneel to show their respect to God, others like to stand. Some clasp their hands whilst others use the traditional position of palms and fingers together - both designed to stop us fidgeting with our hands and so distract our attention. Some like to turn their palms upwards whilst others like to raise one or both hands above their head, symbolically receiving God's word or power 'from above'. Find what suits you best, possibly a different position at different times to suit the occasion.

You may like to find a book(s) about prayer techniques, or look it up on the Internet under "Christian Prayer". Experiment with some of the ways you find and see which are more or less helpful to you. Be prepared to give it some time, you'll be unusual if you find something effective straight away. (Return to top)
Picture, Sports Team in Prayer
What to Expect
St Paul tells us that God is Spirit, so we can expect to gradually 'experience' his presence, which may happen in different ways for different people. For a lucky few it's not gradual but they can say the day and time when it happened. For some, it may take a long time - even years - so don't worry if not much seems to be happening quickly, just relax and keep seeking for him. Always expect an answer; although it may not be exactly what we asked, God knows what's best and will give us what's right.(Return to top)
Clip Art, The big Bang
Ways of Praying - Finding God in Creation
'Modulo' begins by asking whether God exists and looks for an answer by thinking about creation, so every now and again (at least once a month), try being quiet and look around you at his creation and listen to the background noises. Think about how creation came about and how wonderful it actually is when we notice the detail.

If God didn't create it, why's it here? If he did create it, does that say anything about how wonderful and how clever he is? He made the vast universe out of nothing; we can only refashion the materials he's already made into our everyday objects, but the skill to do that was itself created by God. As you become aware of his creation, see if any words come into your mind to help you thank God for making us and if there's anything you would like to ask of him for the future - make that your prayer. (Return to top)
Picture, Man Praying
Examen - Personal Prayer
Whilst it's right that we pray informally for anything at any time, it's good sometimes to be more thorough. 'Examen' is part of the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius of Loyola, a 16th century Spanish priest who founded the organisation known as The Jesuits. It's a useful method of 'examining' our life at the end of every day, or week (or month if that's the best you can manage!), thinking about what happened and what's to come, and so becoming aware of God's influence in our life.

At a regular time, just before you go to bed or just after you've got into bed perhaps, think back on what's happened since your last review - was an earlier prayer answered in any way, or is a pattern emerging, especially one that meets you're secret thoughts, then thank God for what was good, ask for forgiveness where necessary (do you need to change anything?), and for his help tomorrow. (Return to top)
Picture, Small Group of People
Lectio Divina - Group Prayer
A more advanced way is to 'Pray the Scriptures' called Lectio Divina (Latin for 'Divine Reading') which has four parts. You can do this on your own but it's even better in a group. Read a Bible passage slowly and carefully so you really take it in (Lectio) - if in a group; get someone to read it out aloud - you might like to choose one or more of the Bible references in the Module you're doing at that time. Then think for short while about what you heard (mediation) and see if one word or phrase stands out.

After the agreed thinking period, share the one word (or short phrase if you must), by saying only that word or phrase in turn round the group so you hear what the passage 'spoken' to other people too; don't add any other explanation (Oratio). Read it through again and then pray for understanding (or for anything else the passage brings to your mind). Finally clear your mind and let God fill it with what he has to say (contemplation). The whole exercise should normally only take a few minutes. At the end, you may like to share in your group why you chose the bit you did and discuss what you think God may be saying to us today through the choice(s) made. (Return to top)
Picture, Planet Earth from Space
Intercession - Prayer For Others
The word 'Intercession' comes from 'Intercede' meaning to act on behalf of someone else. Intercessionary prayer is any prayer that's offered for someone or something else, such as for friends or family, refuges, a school or other institution etc, so again there isn't a 'right' format; you can say whatever seems right at the time.

'Intercessions' in a church Service are prayers said on behalf of others and can be fairly formal, although they can be very informal too dependent on the type of Service and your church's tradition.

If you're asked to 'lead the intercessions', don't panic. There may be a 'template' in your church's Service book that suggests the topics, or you can get formal prayers written by ogthers in many books and from the Internet. If there isn't a template, you might like to pray for the church, the world, friends and neighbours, the sick and to remember the departed. Don't speak too fast as many buildings have some form of echo that can make the words blend together, and remember to leave some quiet spaces to allow people to add their own words as they wish, eg: if praying for the sick you might like to leave a short space for people to add the names of any they know who are ill; but announce what the space is for so people don't just think the gap is there because you've forgotten what comes next! (Return to top)