God's greatest longing is that we should get to know Him, come to love Him, enjoy His company. And when we talk to God or listen to Him, heart to heart, this is prayer. Prayer isn’t a technique; it’s a relationship. It’s not about trying to persuade a reluctant God to do something, or to craft a perfect set of words to win God over. It’s a friendship, with many different dimensions. It starts in the most ordinary, instinctive reactions to everyday life, e.g. gratitude for the good things that are always happening to us, however small; wonder – we often see amazing things, in nature for example, but pass them by; or need – we bump into scores of needs every day.  

Prayer is taking those instincts of gratitude, wonder and the desire to help, and stretching them out before God. Everyone has those instincts, so prayer is making our responses intentional and focusing them towards God. We therefore need to give prayer that most scarce commodity – time. The rule here is to start small; stay natural; and be honest.   Prayer can take many different forms, such as:

  • Spending time reflectively with God.
  • Thanksgiving, confession, petition.
  • Being with God – with thanks, with sorrow, with people on our heart.       
  • Speaking with God – talking (a quiet time) – intimacy (silence).       
  • Offering the day to God at the start – practising the presence of God through the day – reviewing the day with God at night.        
  • Meditation – considering the word of God slowly and prayerfully.       
  • Contemplation – silently looking, listening and just being.