Purpose of prayer
Updated: May 20, 2020
"To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing." - Martin Luther
Worship is an essential part of faith, and prayer is one aspect of our worship. Indeed, prayer is one of our greatest Christian privileges. We can talk with our Heavenly Father directly because of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection. We pray to God to thank Him for His love and goodness; to ask forgiveness for our sins; we bring him our worries and our thoughts and try to understand His will for our lives.
It is not surprising that the Prayer life of many has increased as we face this world wide pandemic and the changes it has brought. People are frightened and lonely - uncertain of what the future holds for their families, communities and the Nation. We do not pray to impress God nor inform Him, prayer brings us closer to God and the Hope and assurance He offers through salvation in His son Jesus.
Prayer is a vital part of the relationship we have with God. What a great opportunity we have during this lockdown to build on that relationship as we seek God’s guidance for the future and for deliverance from this crisis. This was the purpose of King George VI’s call for a National Day of Prayer on 26th May 1940 and it is for these reasons the Grand Master has called the Orange Institution to prayer, 80 years to the day since the Nation responded to the King’s appeal.
• Pray Simply – Some think you have to pray eloquently and at great length for God to hear us, but in reality, He listens even to our shortest of prayers and we can talk to God in our everyday language. If our prayers are short then pray more frequently.
• Pray with the help of Bible Readings - Prayer is not a one-sided conversation. Reading the Bible brings life to our prayers and makes for a more effective conversation with God. The Grand Chaplains have suggested Bible Readings to accompany the Prayer Points supplied.
• Pray Anywhere - It is good we have a quiet place in our homes where we can focus on praying. However, you can also pray while walking, in the car, at work, or even in the queue at Tesco’s while social distancing.
• Pray Anytime – It is good that we have a regular routine for prayer, some will do so in the morning or last thing at night. However, during the Day of Prayer, why not do both and also take time out to spend with God during the day.
• Pray with Others – We can encourage our children and grandchildren to take part in this Day of Prayer. We can organise a family time of prayer and to accommodate the ‘new norm’ we may even arrange a Lodge Zoom time of prayer. We may even organise Facetime with friends or even a phone call with those who are alone. We should also encourage others to take part in this Day of Prayer.
• Pray Expectantly - Prayer becomes a lifeless exercise when we are not expecting God to answer our prayers. Let's watch out for how God answers our requests. How many answers to our petitions do we miss because we do not really expect God to respond? God might answer differently than we expect, but His answer will always be better than what we had in mind.
There are seven topics for prayer on our Orange Day of Prayer Resource page to help shape your prayers. These could provide a framework for your weekly prayer pattern as we continue in lockdown. In addition to the Lord’s Prayer below, please find a prepared prayer if required to close your Day of Prayer.
OUR FATHER WHO ART IN HEAVEN, HALLOWED BE THY NAME; THY KINGDOM COME, THY WILL BE DONE, ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN. GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD; AND FORGIVE US OUR TRESPASSES, AS WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO TRESPASS AGAINST US; AND LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION, BUT DELIVER US FROM EVIL. FOR THINE IS THE KINGDOM, THE POWER AND THE GLORY, FOR EVER AND EVER. AMEN
Almighty God, our lovingly Heavenly Father, by your Holy Spirit inspire us to be faithful to pray, to give, to love, to serve, and to proclaim the gospel so that the name of Jesus Christ might be glorified in our families, our Orange Institution, our nation and around the world. May Your blessing rest upon us as we give thanks that You are always attentive to the prayers of Your people offered through the merit of Your Son, our Saviour, in whose name we pray. Amen.
"To get nations back on their feet, we must first
get down on our knees." - Billy Graham
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