Jubilee News
Exploring Prayer by Justin Welby

Over five short sessions, Archbishop Justin Welby explores different ways of praying. From asking for things and giving thanks, to expressing deep sadness and anger, Exploring Prayer helps you begin – or develop – your conversation with God.

Part 1 - Asking God

We can often think about prayer as a shopping list – going to God and asking him to do this, this and this. But prayer is so much more than that – it’s a relationship!  It’s about opening our hearts to allow God to fill our lives with his presence, his wisdom and his love. Whatever we are bringing to God – our joys or our sorrows, our hope or our despair – nothing is ever lost with God. He hears all of our prayers. And when we pray with open hearts, we deepen our relationship with him. In this session we explore what it means to pray and how you can get started if you have never tried before – or if you need a bit of a refresher, which we all do from time to time! You can find the full series of Exploring Prayer here

Part 2 - Learning to lament

How do we pray when our lives – or the world – has gone wrong? So much prayer that we find in the Bible – particularly in the Psalms – is lament, sorrow, rage and protest. It’s a normal way of praying for Jesus as well. He protests about injustice and cruelty. He stands up to people. He calls out to God for change. He weeps at the graveside of a friend. So in this session, we talk about how we are honest with Jesus Christ and say to him, “This is not right!” Those are the prayers that go straight to the heart of God. Those are the prayers Jesus collects in his arms and absorbs – as he absorbed all sorrow on the cross. He is with us always. You can find the full series of Exploring Prayer here

Part 3 - Saying Sorry

If we’re honest, we know that in our lives we mess up, we go wrong, we fall short of our own standards – let alone of God’s. And when that mounts up in our lives we end up feeling isolated, guilty and ashamed. Saying sorry is a really important way of keeping our relationships with each other healthy. It means we can trust each other. It’s no different in our relationship with God.  In this session we explore how we approach this vital part of prayer, how we relate to Jesus – who forgave his enemies – and what happens when we say sorry from the bottom of our hearts and become willing to try and set things right. You can find the full series of Exploring Prayer here

Part 4 - Giving Thanks

Praying with thanks in our hearts is how we respond to the love of God. It’s about turning our hearts to the source of light and hope and saying thank you! Thank you that I am loved. Perhaps thank you for good things that have happened in life. Perhaps, thank you simply that I have life. But it’s also a way to ‘reset’ when we’ve got ourselves into a negative spiral. Or a way of helping us remember that even in the darkest times Jesus is still with us. In this session we’ll explore saying thank you to God in prayer – and that changes and deepens our relationship with Him and with those around us. You can find the full series of Exploring Prayer here

Part 5 - Wonder!

When you read the Bible, you see that whenever people meet God, they are filled with wonder. There’s often fear too, but there is wonder. Wonder is the emotion we feel when we’re overwhelmed by God’s love for us in Jesus Christ. How we do step into this extraordinary place? The short answer is we pray!  It’s impossible to fully understand how deeply we are loved by God. But in prayer we can find ourselves on the fringes of the foothills of the beginnings of how extraordinary it is that we can have a relationship with our creator. We can actually experience in our hearts this wonderful God who we see in Jesus. In this session we’ll explore how we can enter into wonder in prayer. You can find the full series of Exploring Prayer here

Welby, Justin (2020, January), Exploring Prayer. Retrieved from: https://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/exploring-prayer