The Benefice of Yarnton with Begbroke and Shipton-on-Cherwell


The power of prayer

You may have arrived at this page because you were curious what we have on our website. You may be doubtful about the idea of praying for help, or you may be in need of help, of guidance, of support. We hope and pray that you find what you are looking for.

How to pray

When we pray, we are in conversation with God. In human conversations, we are often quite good at talking but not so good at listening. In prayer, we can list the things that we want help with, a sick friend, trouble in our relationships, challenging children or declining parents. These are all very normal reasons to ask for help and there is nothing wrong with asking. We can pray in silence, or out loud. The challenge is also to listen. In human conversations, we are not always good at listening to the other person. We interrupt, we plan our response while they are speaking, we tune-out. In our conversations with God it is even more important to listen. We need to practice the art of listening, because it is in the silence that God speaks to us.

What, where, when …

God is always with us and therefore we can pray at any time. We can give thanks for good fortune or send up a distress flare in a moment of need. It is like having a friend, a constant companion, who never gets angry, never makes you feel stupid, but is there to listen. In exchange for those instant prayers during daily life, try to make time to reverse the conversation. Find a few quiet moments at some point in your day to ask God how you can help make the world a better place and listen for the answer.
Reading the bible is another way of stimulating prayer. Read a short passage and reflect on the meaning. What do the words say to you? Ignatian prayer involves reading a gospel passage and becoming immersed in it as if you were there alongside Christ. Imagine the scene, the sounds and smells, put yourself into that moment and imagine what Christ was saying to you personally.

Specific prayers

The internet is full of prayer resources and this link has specific prayers for most occasions.   

If you do not have time to search for the right one, then there is one prayer that can focus us,

The Lord’s Prayer:

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.