13.1.5 The prayer of New Apostolic Christians

A significant function is assigned to collective prayer in the divine service: the Trinitarian invocation of God is followed by the opening prayer, in which worship, praise and thanks for divine protection and accompaniment, as well as petitions and intercessions, are brought to God. In the Lord's Prayer the congregation joins together in the prayer of the Son of God. Prior to the consecration of Holy Communion, the officiant offers up the Eucharistic prayer, which expresses thanks to God for the sacrifice of Christ, the forgiveness of sins, the sending of the Apostles, and the promise of Christ's return. At the close of the divine service, there is another prayer which expresses thanks for that which has been received, as well as the plea for angel protection and accompaniment, and longing for the day of the Lord. The needs of the members, as well as those of all people, find their place in these intercessions. Beyond that, the Lord is asked to accept the offerings and bless those who have offered.

In addition to collective prayers in the divine services, New Apostolic Christians also cultivate an individual prayer life. They begin and end the day in prayer. They likewise pray before meals and turn to God again and again throughout the course of the day in order to feel His nearness and seek His help. In family prayer, parents pray together with their children and thereby teach them to develop their own prayer life.

Prayer is not bound to any external form. Nevertheless, the intensity of a prayer can be promoted by closing one's eyes, folding one's hands, or kneeling, for example. The supplicant thereby withdraws from the busy activity of daily life to pause and bow before God in humbleness.

It is not necessary to express oneself in eloquent terms when praying. God knows the heart of the supplicant. If the latter's attitude is characterised by humbleness, faith, trust, and love for Him, the prayer will certainly find favour with the Almighty. The words used by the supplicant do not need to be spoken aloud. Even silent prayers find their way to God.

In terms of content, prayer is generally defined by adoration and worship, thanks, petitions, and intercessions. The knowledge of God's majesty and the grace that allows us to address Him as Father (Romans 8: 15) prompt us to worship God. Thankfulness applies to all the good things that have come out of the kindness of God. Above all, this includes the great deeds which God has performed, and still performs, upon mankind through word, grace, and sacrament. Beyond that, gratitude is expressed for earthly gifts such as sustenance, clothing, accommodations, and angel service and protection. In our petitions, we bring God our concerns as they pertain, for example, to the preservation of our faith and the help of God in daily life. The most important petition relates to the imminent return of Christ, and to the attainment of worthiness for it. Our intercessions are not limited to our own families or the congregation. Rather they include all who are in need of God's help, both here and in the beyond.

Not every prayer needs to contain all four components–God also hears our fleeting prayers in special situations of life. Depression, conditions of anxiety, physical pain, or deep suffering may make it impossible for a person to find the thoughts to formulate a prayer. Even then the supplicant is not cut off from God's help or nearness. Concerning this Romans 8: 26 states: "Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered." At such times it may also be helpful to pray the Lord's Prayer or recite one of the psalms, for example Psalm 23.

Prayers are concluded with the Hebrew word "Amen", which means: "So be it!" Here it is irrelevant whether one has actually spoken the prayer or simply prayed along in spirit.

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