Creative Prayer

This site is for people who want prayer in Jesus' name, and for people who want to pray for others.



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This page contains:

  • Lighting a Candle

  • Teaspoon Prayers (Thank You, Sorry, Please)

  • Spoken Meditations

  • Using Images of Jesus for Meditation

  • Images from the World for Meditation

  • Bible Stories for Meditation



Lighting a Candle

Lighting a candle as a reminder to pray is a very old idea.  Light is a very powerful symbol of Jesus’ presence. ‘In him was life, and that life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness but the darkness has not understood it…the true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world’ (John 1: 4—9).  Lighting a candle reminds us that Jesus is the light of the world, that He is present, and prays with us to the Father  (Hebrews 7: 25)



Some ways of using candles:

1)      Light a candle in a church or cathedral to represent someone.

2)      In your small groups (prayer / cell / home groups), light a candle during your prayer times.

3)      Light a candle on anniversaries of births / baptisms / deaths etc. to remind you to pray for that person (or to thank God for their life).

There are many other ways you could explore…





Teaspoon Prayers (Thank You, Sorry, Please)

No, this is not praying with cutlery, but is a way of remembering different aspects of prayer.  I learnt ‘teaspoon’ prayers at a Sunday School where I used to teach.  This formula helps you divide your prayer time into three sections, so that prayer is not a shopping list of requests but a relationship with God. 



1)    Thank You: Take time to thank God for all He has done, or for specific answers to recent prayers.

2)    Sorry: Say sorry for mistakes you have made, things you have said or thought that you shouldn’t have, and for things you have failed to do.  Ask God for His forgiveness.

3)     Please: Ask God for what you need (most people tend to be best at this part!).


Another version of ‘tsp’ is the ACTS prayer for the more sophisticated pray-er!  ACTS stands for Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication.  Choose whichever version suits you best.




Spoken Meditations

Using repeated phrases, as an aid to prayer is common in many Christian traditions, particularly the orthodox and catholic.  In the Anglican service book also, short repeated phrases are often used to separate prayers, e.g. ‘Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.’ 

Why not try incorporating some short phrases into your prayers?  There are several different ways of using them.

1)      Separate prayers with a short phrase. Either use a familiar one, or choose some words from the Bible, or make up your own to suit the theme of your prayers that day. 

E.g. You might be busy or stressed needing some ‘time out’ with God: try starting and finishing by saying, ‘Be still and know that I am God’ (Psalm 46:10).  Perhaps you are ill or in need of comfort?  Try, Jesus, Christ, come and meet my deepest need’. 

2)      Alternatively just say one phrase over and over again, either reflecting on the words or thinking silently about a situation on your heart.  Try, ‘Jesus, Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me’.

Using meditations can help us focus on the One to whom we pray, rather than getting caught up in a long ‘shopping list’ or monologue.  This idea also works well in pairs or groups.  Try exchanging the word ‘me’ for the name of the person with whom you are praying.




Using Images of Jesus for Meditation


Sometimes looking at different images of Jesus reflecting aspects of His character can help us reflect on that aspect of Him.  e.g. I recently saw a sketch of a shepherd holding a lamb, as if it were the most important thing to him in the world, which of course reminded me that Jesus is the ‘good shepherd’.  He cares about each of us in that way. There are literally hundreds of different aspects of Jesus’ character, and even more different artists’ interpretations to inspire you.  (N.B. Using images to inspire reflective prayer is not the same as worshipping idols!)





Images from the World for Meditation

Use photographs / newspaper articles / pieces of nature to encourage you to think about situations which need prayer, or simply be inspired to thank God for his beautiful creation!





Bible Stories for Meditation

The Bible is packed with stories about real characters in real, challenging situations.  This prayer idea combines prayer and Bible study – so it has double value!  Why not take a story and imagine yourself into the character’s situation? 


Ask yourself,

     ‘How would I have felt?’

     ‘What would my response have been?’ 

Then, can you relate this story to a personal experience or perhaps one of someone you know? Ask,

     ‘What did I do in that situation?’ 

     ‘Did I respond like [character’s name]?’

     ‘Did they respond in the best way?’ 

     ‘What did he / she / I learn about God?’ 

     ‘Where was God in the whole picture?’

(This may be different from how you felt God to be present!) 


     You can probably conjure up more questions to ask yourself once you get into the flow.  Finish your meditation with a prayer, thanking God for giving us stories about people in the past, who made mistakes like us, and yet some were also amazing examples of how to live for God.  Then ask God for help with anything you found difficult that came out of the story or that related to you personally.

     Some good stories for starters: loads in the Old Testament…try putting yourself in Abraham’s shoes or Joseph’s in any of their challenging situations (Genesis), Moses (Exodus), Elijah (1 Kings), Jonah, Job (if you’re prepared to be stretched!).  And in the New Testament, what about Mary or Joseph discovering that Mary was pregnant with God’s Son?  Or choose one of the people who met Jesus: a disciple /someone he healed /someone he accepted and forgave, like the tax-collector Zacchaeus, or Mary the prostitute?  There are lots of exciting stories about the early Church in Acts you could explore…




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