Since ancient times Christians all over the world have followed the same or a similar form of prayer, wherever they are in the world. These prayers were forged in circumstances not dissimilar to our own – a pre-industrial world of great uncertainty and fear for health, safety and security.
Out of this tradition comes the Church of England’s own prayer book, Common Worship, with the four daily ‘offices’ of Morning Prayer (Matins, on waking), Evening Prayer (Evensong, towards the end of the afternoon) and Night Prayer (Compline, before sleep).
You can pray them on your own or in a group, with one person leading and everyone else joining in with the parts marked in bold. (The parts in red are instructions, not to be spoken.)
Read or Download Daily Prayer Free Online
Read or download Daily Prayer free on the Church of England website at churchofengland.org. The contemporary version is Common Worship, but you can choose to follow the traditional-language version, taken from the Book of Common Prayer. Just scroll down for all options.
Tips for Praying Daily Prayer
- Find a place where you feel relaxed and undistracted
- If you don’t have a quiet place, create your own inner place of quiet – close your eyes if you need to, and take a few deep breaths to settle yourself in preparation
- Sit or kneel in whatever way feels comfortable
- Create a prayer space by lighting a candle or placing a religious image in front of you, as a focal point to help you keep your attention on God
- You may speak out loud, under your breath or simply follow the words in silence
- Take your time
- Intercessions and thanksgiving are a chance for you to bring before God the things that are on your mind. There are no rules to what words you use, if any. You may find the following general topics helpful, however:
- Thank God for the good things, however big or small
- Pray for the Church, both worldwide and locally
- Pray for all in positions of power and authority
- Pray for people in your community
- Pray for the wider world – national and international issues
- Pray for all who are sick and who care for them
- Pray for the souls of all who have died, and for all who mourn them
- Many people, both clergy and lay Christians, are livestreaming their daily prayers on social media, eg, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, and you’ll be able to join them. Alternatively, why not pray daily prayer with a friend, via Skype or Facetime?
- Get in touch if you have a question about how to pray!