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Interested in exploring deeper?
If your usual methods of prayer are no longer providing you the connection that you once experienced or if would like to try something different, we have a variety of different prayer practices we recommend, some of them are included below.
- Intercessory prayer. This is a way of joining with Jesus in praying for others in need of healing, care, and God’s peace and knowledge of his presence in their lives. It is also a way of praying for the world and different situations, and joining with God in his concern for this. For more on intercessory prayer, click here.
- Praying with the Psalms. The Psalms are described as the ancient hymn book of God’s people. They express praise, worship and are full of a range of emotions from mournful laments to rejoicing and thanksgiving. They vary greatly in their expression of this to God depending on the situation the psalmist was facing. The Psalms can help us to pray, especially when we don’t have the right words to express what we are feeling. There are Psalms for every situation. For more on Praying with the Psalms, click here. For guidance on how to write your own Psalm of Thanksgiving click here. For guidance on how to write your own Psalm of Lament click here.
- The Jesus Prayer. "Lord Jesus Christ Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner," we call on the name of Jesus as our Lord and Savior, in order to invite Jesus’ presence into our lives and each situation, and to receive His abundant grace and mercy. There is power in the name of Jesus and the prayer allows us to come before Him in a posture of humility. For more on how to practice the Jesus Prayer, can be found here.
- Praying in Color. This is an active, meditative, playful prayer practice that is both process and product. It is a visual and kinesthetic way of praying for people and connecting with God. It involves doodling, coloring, writing and expressing what is on your heart onto paper. It can be used together with other prayer practices, for instance Lectio Divina, prayers of Thanksgiving, prayers for remembering people, Scripture meditation, the Names for God, the Jesus Prayer, intercessory prayer, prayers for God’s guidance, personal mission statements, spiritual journeys, and the names of people to whom you need to make amends. No artistic skill is required for this type of prayer. It is an outpouring onto paper of what is in your heart. There should be the total freedom to simply express in whatever form, what you are feeling, or wish to express prayerfully. For more on how to Pray in Color, click here.
- Scripture Reading. Another essential spiritual discipline we strongly recommend is daily Scripture reading. A healthy relationship with Scripture is key to staying oriented towards God. Bible study involves engaging the text with an open mind and heart in order to grow in love and understanding of the truth. There are many different ways of engaging with Scripture daily. Find out more here.
- Prayer journaling. This a fantastic way of bringing your experiences, thoughts, petitions before God in a written form. It is also a great way of observing your spiritual growth over time. As you look back on your journal entries you may see God’s hand in different situations and answered prayers. For more on prayer journaling, click here.
- Prayer walking. This is simply being present and conscious of Jesus and praying as you walk. Prayer walks can be taken through neighborhoods, town centers, hospitals and the residents can be prayed over. Parks and outdoors in nature are great places to practice prayer walks and clear the mind as you commune with God. For more information visit: http://waymakers.org/pray/prayerwalking/
- Solitude. Jesus himself taught us the practice of solitude. It simply involves taking time away from people, and distractions in order to be alone with God. Alone, without distractions, we put ourselves in a place where God can reveal things to us that we might not notice in the normal preoccupations of life. “But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray.” Luke 5:16
- The Examen Prayer. This prayer practice helps us to become more aware of God’s presence in our daily lives. It involves prayerfully reflecting on the day’s events, the various interactions, and emotions we experienced. By doing this we will be better able to discern the different ways God speaks to us and reaches out and impacts us during each day. For more on the examen prayer, click here.
- Practical Tips. Every sermon preached at the Ann Arbor Vineyard has a practical tip or prayer practice that goes with the sermon that is given at the conclusion of the sermon to practice in the week ahead. The practical tips are based on a spiritual discipline, for instance, practicing the presence of God or detachment, and each spiritual discipline is practiced throughout the duration of the sermon series but with variations and different angles given each week. The weekly practical tips and sermon are uploaded to a website practicaltips.org and are available to all. Feel free to visit the practicaltips.org website and try out a practical tip as a prayer exercise.