Prayer is never confined to one pattern, one place, or one practice. Through exploring apparent paradoxes in prayer our participation in the life of God is revealed to be full of surprise – and full of joy.
This series challenges us to be open to praying in ways that may not be part of our usual pattern of prayer. Text and images by Ian Adams, mission spirituality adviser for Church Mission Society.
In this series we are exploring some apparent paradoxes in prayer. In this exercise our focus is on ancient and new.
 Ancient and new
There can be great vitality in the prayers and prayerful actions that we create ourselves, in our own language, in our own style, in our own setting. There’s also great strength in the prayers and prayerful actions of the church, prayers that have been prayed and actions that have been made for centuries.
So when you pray today, begin with a prayer in your own words, accompanied by your own instinctive prayerful action. Then pray an ancient prayer and take an ancient stance. You could kneel, and use this ancient prayer from the Orthodox church, the so-called ‘Jesus Prayer’. Repeat the prayer slowly, let it carry all your hopes and yearnings…
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God
Have mercy on me, a sinner