Prayer is “talking to God.” Prayer is not meditation or passive reflection; it is a direct address to God. It is the communication of the human soul with the Lord who created the soul. Prayer is the primary way to communicate emotions and desires with God and to fellowship with God.
Prayer can be spoken or silent, private or public, formal or informal.
Worry about nothing; pray about everything. Everything, because, God wants us to talk with Him about everything. How often should we pray? The biblical answer is “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). We should keep a running conversation going with God all day long. We can pray under any and all circumstances. Prayer develops our relationship with God and demonstrates our trust and utter dependence on God.
Types of Prayer:
Prayer of Thanksgiving
“But in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” ( Philippians 4:6)
Prayer of Worship
We recognize God for being in our lives. God is completely sovereign over all of life and all circumstances. His plans and purposes will stand and no one can stop Him. (Acts 13:2-3)
Prayer is Intercession
In our prayers, we ask God for needs regarding our own life or the lives of others (1 Timothy 2:1).
Prayer of Faith
Prayers of faith are given for healing. This does not negate the important role of medical professionals but encourages believers to turn to God for help during times of physical need. (James 5:15)
Praying alone is an important part of Christian growth, however praying together with others serves a unique role that combines the power of prayer with community among believers. (Acts 1:14)
The Lord’s Prayer
A model prayer we can also use in praising and making our requests known to God. (Matthew 6:9-13)
Methodists believe that life is eternal and that one can look forward to life with God after death, although they hold diverse beliefs about the afterlife. They regard the funeral service as an opportunity to express their grief, celebrate the life of the deceased and affirm their faith.
A Methodist funeral may take place at a church, funeral home, family home, cemetery chapel, or at the gravesite. The service will typically include readings, hymns, a sermon, and a eulogy. A pastor leads the congregation in prayer. Readings can come from a variety of sources, among them the Bible.
For many in the African American community, funeral services and expressions of mourning contain a theme of celebration, rather than the somber emotions associated with death in other cultural settings. This attitude grew out of the period of slavery, when most slave owners would not allow slaves to gather for funerals. During this dark time, death was often seen as freedom and a reason to celebrate amidst the grieving. Many believed that the deceased’s soul returned to their African homeland. From this arose the concept of Homegoing, which survives today, although it is now seen as the soul entering heaven or joining with ancestors. After slavery was abolished, the newly freed slaves could openly gather to honor their dead, and the opportunity to honor their loved ones became an important time in their community. Extravagant celebrations of the deceased’s life became common, including music and dancing, helping fuel the growth of the Jazz Funeral.