Traditional Prayer? 
What Are The Benefits?

Contents List:

  1. What are traditional prayers?
  2. Using a time of enforced stillness to be blessed and to be a blessing
  3. A celebration of our unity
  4. Using simple prayers to discipline my troubled racing thoughts
  5. Questions to ask:

1. What are traditional prayers?

traditional prayers

Tradional prayers are prayers that have been written down and either learnt by heart or read from the page.

They are often very simple and have been passed down through time.

The Lord’s Prayer, also known as the Our Father prayer, is one example.

Most catholic daily prayers would be thought of as traditional. And some protestant prayers have been traditional since not long after the reformation in 1517.

The Lord’s Prayer is a prayer passed down through tradition which is common to all Christians.

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2. Using a time of enforced stillness to be blessed and to be a blessing

When I got ill I was forced to sit in silence and stillness. I found this so difficult and it felt like such a waste of time. I lived for the few minutes in the hour when I could move or read or listen to a tape or the radio.

I believed there must be a way to see this time as a blessing, and I had tried many things. But one day I made a real commitment to stop resenting that time of silence and stillness and start using it.

This time must be able to have value. After all, some people choose a life of silence and stillness in order to seek God.

I believed that by saying some simple prayers, I was allowing God into my mind and therefore being of service to God and to the world.

Go here for prayer on how to be blessed and a blessing

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3. Traditional Prayer Celebrates Our Unity

Although traditional prayers are not said by all people, they are said by many. For me they symbolise that we are all one people, united in God.

I had a powerful experience of unity once when praying Psalm 23 - the psalm often known as 'The Lord Is My Shepherd'.

This psalm has been spoken and sung by Jews, Christians and others down the millennia.

Earlier this year, I went to synagogue with a friend to celebrate Yom Kippur.

For many years I had sung Psalm 23 on my own, stuck in an ill body, in a room.

In doing so, I had often felt myself join with my Jewish spiritual ancestors who had experienced slavery and a long harsh journey through the desert. I had felt and claimed the peace and promise of this psalm, and it had delivered what it promised.

Now, here I was singing it, joining in with a Jewish congregation. It was a very emotional moment for me. I cried and I celebrated.

4. Using simple prayers to discipline my troubled racing thoughts

In a time of severe illness, I also chose to believe that I could choose my thoughts, although this certainly didn't feel true!

I made a commitment to discipline my mind in certain ways. One of these disciplines was to say a list of daily prayers, which included traditional prayers.

You can find some techniques and quotes for calming racing thoughts on the page of Prayers for Relaxation and Rest.

Action Point

5. Questions to ask:

  • What do you think are the benefits of saying a traditional prayer?
  • Do you have any prejudice against such prayers that you want to examine?
    Do you think these prayers are too religious or child-like?
    For you, is there something wrong with being religious? 
    For you, is there something wrong with being child-like?

  • Do you like the idea that by saying a prayer that is traditional, you are joining in a prayer of agreement with others round the world?

  • Is there a prayer from or from your own spiritual background that you would like to say regularly to feel the power of joined prayer.

Other articles on prayer that may be of interest:

Further articles include certain prayers that have been mentioned in these pages and a discussion on their interpretation. 

When it comes to the question of how to pray to God, traditional prayer is just one approach out of many

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