Prayer at Valley View
Our vision and purpose for prayer is to encourage every disciple of Jesus Christ to delight in prayer by leading them and giving them opportunities to be together to access the presence and power of God through prayer.
Prayer to God is the natural response of a soul made alive by the Spirit of God. It is a gift from God to experience intimate fellowship with him. He longs for us to live continually with him in prayer. Prayer is our direct access through Jesus Christ to God’s throne of grace to find help in time of need.
During our Sunday morning worship services, you are encouraged to submit prayer requests on the Communication Card. Every Sunday you have access to caring people who will pray with you at the end of the service
Praying for the City, State, Country
One of our prayer priorities is praying for the city of Sacramento, the state of California, and all the states in the United States of America. We pray for President Obama and his cabinet, Congress, and the Courts. We pray that God in His infinite wisdom and strength guides our government to make good decisions that are right with God. We pray that the government officials turn to Christ and be saved.
Praying for all Christians in all the Churches
Another priority is to pray for all the pastors, deacons, and all the people that serve the Lord. We pray so that God washes them in His blood, sanctifies them, and pours on them His Holy Spirit so that they can do many miracles. We also pray for the young people. We pray that God opens their heart and awakens them with His power, the fire of the Holy Spirit. We pray that the upcoming outpouring of the Holy Spirit goes through as many young people as possible so that they may be made servants in the Kingdom of God. In addition to the young, we pray that God prepares the old. We ask God that His supernatural blood cleanses, sanctifies, and prepares many old people to meet Jesus at the end of their life.
Praying for Israel and all the Jews around the world
We also prioritize praying for Israel and all the Jews around the world. We support in our prayers the ministry of Dr. Paul Dhinakaran and his prayer tower in Jerusalem. We pray for all the Churches of Christ in Israel so that they may be filled with the power of God, and as many Jews as possible to be added by the Lord to His church. Nonetheless, we pray to God that He should save ALL the Jewish people around the world so that they may accept Him when He returns to rule the world for 1,000 years. We pray that God replaces the mosque with His temple on the temple mount.
Praying for God’s Grace and the out pouring of The Holy Spirit
Our number one prayer priority and our greatest goal is to reach the greatest Christian revival in human history. The out pouring of the Holy Spirit that is coming very soon will fulfill God’s promise that He will pour from His spirit on all flesh. With the arrival of the power of God, we will see servants of God laying hands on the lame and the lame will walk, the blind will see, the deaf will hear. Millions of people shall be baptized into the Holy Spirit and prayers in churches will last many hours and even days. We pray that people who serve God will have the authority and power equal and greater than what Peter had when his mere shadow healed the sick. With the great shower of the power of God, we believe that it will bring the greatest harvest to the kingdom of God in the history of creation.
Prayer is an important activity in Christianity, and there are several different forms of Christian prayer.
Christian prayers are diverse: they can be completely spontaneous, or read entirely from a text, like the Anglican Book of Common Prayer. The most common prayer among Christians is the “Lord’s Prayer”, which according to the gospel accounts (e.g. Matthew 6:9-13) is how Jesus taught his disciples to pray. “The Lord’s Prayer” is a model for prayers of adoration, confession and petition in Christianity.
A broad, three stage characterization of prayer begins with vocal prayer, then moves on to a more structured form in terms of meditation, then reaches the multiple layers of contemplation, or intercession.
There are two basic settings for Christian prayer: corporate (or public) and private. Corporate prayer includes prayer shared within the worship setting or other public places. These prayers can be formal written prayers or informal extemporaneous prayers. Private prayer occurs with the individual praying either silently or aloud within a private setting. Prayer exists within multiple different worship contexts and may be structured differently. These types of contexts may include:
Liturgical: Often seen within the Catholic Church. This is a very orthodox service, according to Catholics. Within a Catholic Mass, which is an example of a liturgical form of worship, there are bible readings and a sermon is read.
Often seen within the Holy Orthodox Church. The Holy Bible is read and a sermon is read.
Non- Liturgical: Often seen within Evangelical church, this prayer is often not scripted and would be more informal in structure. Most of these prayers would be extemporaneous.
Charismatic: Often seen within gospel churches. It is the main form of worship in Pentecostal churches. It usually includes song and dance, and may include other artistic expressions. There may be no apparent structure, but the worshippers will be “led by the Holy Spirit”.
Prayer in the New Testament is presented as a positive command (Colossians 4:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:17). The people of God are challenged to include prayer in their everyday life, even in the busy struggles of marriage (1 Corinthians 7:5) as it is thought to bring the faithful closer to God.
Throughout the New Testament, prayer is shown to be God’s appointed method by which the faithful obtain what he has to bestow (Matthew 7:7-11; Matthew 9:24-29; Luke 11:13).
Prayer, according to the Book of Acts, can be seen at the first moments of the church (Acts 3:1). The apostles regarded prayer as an essential part of their lives (Acts 6:4; Romans 1:9; Colossians 1:9). As such, the apostles frequently incorporated verses from Psalms into their writings. Romans 3:10-18 for example is borrowed from Psalm 14:1-3 and other psalms.
Thus, due to this emphasis on prayer in the early church. lengthy passages of the New Testament are prayers or canticles (see also the Book of Odes), such as the Prayer for forgiveness (Mark 11:25-26), the Lord’s Prayer, the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55), the Benedictus (Luke 1:68-79), Jesus’ prayer to the one true God (John 17), exclamations such as, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 1:3-14), the Believers’ Prayer (Acts 4:23-31), “may this cup be taken from me” (Matthew 26:36-44), “Pray that you will not fall into temptation” (Luke 22:39-46), Saint Stephen’s Prayer (Acts 7:59-60), Simon Magus’ Prayer (Acts 8:24), “pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men” (2 Thessalonians 3:1-2), and Maranatha (1 Corinthians 16:22).
Types of prayer
Woman praying in a church
Catholic prayer doing the Lord’s Prayer in Mexico
Elements of the oldest Christian prayers may be found in liturgies such as the Roman Catholic Mass, the Orthodox Divine Liturgy, the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, and the Lutheran Book of Worship.
Many denominations that adhere to a liturgical tradition use specific prayers geared to the season of the Liturgical Year, such as Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter. Some of these prayers are found in the Roman Breviary, the Liturgy of the Hours, the Orthodox Book of Needs and the Anglican Book of Common Prayer.
Prayer to saints
The ancient church, in both Eastern Christianity and Western Christianity, developed a tradition of asking for the intercession of (deceased) saints, and this remains the practice of most Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and some Anglican churches. Churches of the Protestant Reformation however rejected prayer to the saints, largely on the basis of the sole mediatorship of Christ. The reformer Huldrych Zwingli admitted that he had offered prayers to the saints until his reading of the Bible convinced him that this was idolatrous.
Meditation and contemplative prayer
Christian meditation is a structured attempt to get in touch with and deliberately reflect upon the revelations of God. The word meditation comes from the Latin word meditārī, which has a range of meanings including to reflect on, to study and to practice. Christian meditation is the process of deliberately focusing on specific thoughts (such as a bible passage) and reflecting on their meaning in the context of the love of God.
Christian meditation aims to heighten the personal relationship based on the love of God that marks Christian communion.
At times there may be no clear-cut boundary between Christian meditation and Christian contemplation, and they overlap. Meditation serves as a foundation on which the contemplative life stands, the practice by which someone begins the state of contemplation. In contemplative prayer, this activity is curtailed, so that contemplation has been described as “a gaze of faith”, “a silent love”.
Meditation and contemplation are components of the Rosary, encouraged by the Magisterium.
This kind of prayer involves the believer taking the role of an intercessor, praying on behalf of another individual, group or community, or even a nation.
Giaculatoria is a short and popular prayer to Saints, Archangel, Holy Family, Jesus Christ. It is a traditional prayer, liturgical or non-liturgical, with a very informal structure, sometimes non written and ending with a rhyme (See also in Bible: Lc 18,38; Mt 8,1; Lc 23,42; Gv 20,28; At 7,59). E.g.:
Angelus, Joseph, Jesus, Maria sint nobiscum semper, et in mortis agonia ‘Angel, Joseph, Jesus and Maria would you stay with us every time, and at the time of the death’.
Listening prayer is a type of Christian prayer. As compared with the traditional Christian prayer, the listening prayer method demands “hearing and discerning God’s voice through prayer and scripture; then obeying the Lord’s direction in personal ministry.”
Traditional Christian prayer requested people to thank God, as well as tell God their own request. When their prayers seemed unanswered, some would feel that God did not hear them or did not respond to them. Listening prayer asks: “Was it that God did not respond to you, or was it that you did not hear from God”? Listening prayer requires those praying to calm their minds down and read the Scripture. During the reading, some sentences may pop into mind, as if in answer to their prayers.
Prayer books and tools
Prayer books as well as tools such as prayer beads such as chaplets are used by Christians. Images and icons are also associated with prayers in some Christian denominations.
There is no one prayerbook containing a set liturgy used by all Christians; however many Christian denominations have their own local prayerbooks, for example:
- Book of Common Prayer (the traditional Anglican prayer book, still in use or modified by the constituent churches of the Anglican Communion, and one of the most influential prayerbooks in the English language)
- Agenda, name for book for liturgies, especially in Lutheran Church.
- The Roman Breviary (Traditional Roman Catholic Monastic Hours)
- The Book of Psalms
- The Raccolta book of indulgenced prayers for Catholics
- Christian mysticism
- Prayer in the New Testament
- Roman Catholic prayer
- Roman Catholic prayers to Jesus
References and footnotes
- ^ Philip Zaleski, Carol Zaleski (2005). Prayer: A History. Houghton Mifflin Books. ISBN 0-618-15288-1.
- ^ a b Geldart, Anne (1999). Examining Religions: Christianity Foundation Edition. p. 108. ISBN 0-435-30324-4.
- ^ Griffin, Emilie (2005). Simple Ways to Pray. p. 134. ISBN 0-7425-5084-2.
- ^ “The Christian tradition comprises three major expressions of the life of prayer: vocal prayer, meditation, and contemplative prayer. They have in common the recollection of the heart” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2721).
- ^ Ferguson, S. B.; Packer, J. (1988). “Saints”. New Dictionary of Theology. Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press.
- ^ Madeleine Gray, The Protestant Reformation, (Sussex Academic Press, 2003), page 140.
- ^ Zanzig, Thomas; Kielbasa, Marilyn (2000). Christian Meditation for Beginners. p. 7. ISBN 0-88489-361-8.
- ^ Antonisamy, F. (2000). An introduction to Christian spirituality. pp. 76–77. ISBN 81-7109-429-5.
- ^ Christian Meditation by Edmund P. Clowney, 1979 ISBN 1-57383-227-8 pages 12-13
- ^ Fahlbusch, Erwin; Bromiley, Geoffrey William (2003). The encyclopedia of Christianity. Volume 3. p. 488. ISBN 90-04-12654-6.
- ^ al-Miskīn,, Mattá (2003). Orthodox Prayer Life: The Interior Way. St Vladimir’s Seminary Press. p. 56. ISBN 0-88141-250-3.
- ^ “Contemplative prayer is the simple expression of the mystery of prayer. It is a gaze of faith fixed on Jesus, an attentiveness to the Word of God, a silent love. It achieves real union with the prayer of Christ to the extent that it makes us share in his mystery” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2724).
- ^ don Giuseppe Riva, Manuale di Filotea, ed. Libreria Serafino Majocchi, Milan, 1864
- Carroll, James. Prayer from Where We Are. In series, Witness Book, 13, and also in Christian Experience Series. Dayton, Ohio: G.A. Pflaum, 1970.
- Free eBook and audio book for Matthew Henry – A Method for Prayer’ 1710 edition’
This page was last edited on 26 March 2018, at 02:58.
Christian prayer is adaptation of Jewish prayer so understanding Jewish prayer is vital to understanding Christian prayer. Andrew McGowan tantalizes (only slightly) when he opens his chapter on prayer with this:
A minority religious group provokes curiosity among their neighbors, lot least because of their habits concerning ritual and prayer. Their women are conspicuously veiled; they gather for meetings whose mysterious conduct and message lead to anxiety. They stop even in their daily routine to pray, facing a specific direction, and using a set formula given by their founder as a mark of their faith (183).
This, from Ancient Christian Worship, evokes for many Muslim prayer practices but he is describing earliest Christian prayer practices. (I’m not sure how widespread veiling was.) But that description goes a long way to revealing how Jewish prayer worked and therefore how many early Christians would have prayed: set times, set prayers, location mattered.
In his section on Jewish origins, McGowan emphasizes again that “worship” was all of life and that prayers was not restricted to what happened when Christians gathered together for “worship.” Prayer was part of life. The Jewish approach to prayer involved morning and evening prayers (of the Shema, perhaps the Amidah) and mid-afternoon prayer (evoking the afternoon sacrifice). Jewish Christians inherited this prayer practice. E.g., Acts 2:42; 10:30.
Jesus teaches the disciples a prayer (Luke 11:2-4), and times of prayer probably were adaptations of the Jewish customs: three times a day seems by far the most likely number of times early Christians prayed. The Didache advocates saying the Lord’s Prayer three times a day.
In the post NT churches the Lord’s Prayer and the Psalms became the core of Christian prayer practices (Tertullian). McGowan suggests Tertullian taught praying privately in the morning and evening and then also at the three designated hours (e.g., 9am, noon, 3pm), and this becomes customary for early Christian prayer practices. Christians seemed to have prayed with the whole body: standing, kneeling, prostration, or more commonly standing with hands and head raised (cross-like). Hence, too, the sign of the cross.
In The Apostolic Tradition there are instructions for prayer at midnight.
A variety of Christian explanations was given but the practice of 3x per day, perhaps also adding morning and evening, is prior to Christianity.
Under the Constantinian shift prayer becomes more public and pervasive to the cities. Hence, from Apostolic Constitutions McGowan quotes this:
to come constantly to church morning and evening every day, and by no means to forsake it on any account, but to assemble together continually. . . . Assemble yourselves together every day, morning and evening, singing psalms and praying in the Lord’s house: in the morning saying the sixty-second Psalm, and in the evening the hundred and fortieth, but principally on the Sabbath day (Ap. Const. 2.59).
McGowan emphasizes variety with solid dimensions of unity around the Lord’s Prayer, the Psalms, and the hours of prayer.