Dear Friends in Christ,

“Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving.” (Colossians 4:2)

In Luke chapter 11, Jesus teaches his disciples to pray, “When you pray, say, Father, hallowed by your name…” In the Book of Acts chapter 3, Peter and John make their way to the Temple for afternoon prayer. In most of his letters, St. Paul encourages God’s people to pray.

  • Romans 12:12 “Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer”.
  • Philippians 4:6 “Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God”.
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:17 “Pray without ceasing”.

We know that we should pray; the problem is that so many of us simply don’t know how to pray. Pastor Melodi Hagen of Trinity Lutheran Church in Moulton, Ohio, introduced me to the writings of a Presbyterian pastor named Daniel Wolpert. He is a gifted writer and a gifted pray-er. Pastor Wolpert wrote a book in 2003 called, Creating a Life with God: The Call of Ancient Prayer Practices. Here, Pastor Wolpert introduces the reader to a number of ancient Christian prayer practices. For each of the 12 prayer practices listed, he explains the purpose of the prayer, the history of the prayer, and then he explains how to practice the prayer, or how to pray the prayer.

Some of the prayers that Pastor Wolpert teaches, include:

  • The Prayer of Silence
  • Lectio Divina
  • The Jesus Prayer
  • Centering Prayer
  • The Prayer of Examen
  • Prayer Walking
  • Community Prayer

In his book, Creating a Life with God: The Call of Ancient Prayer Practices, Pastor Daniel Wolpert shows us how we might devote ourselves to prayer. I commend it to you.