By Learning How To Pray

By Barbara Clearbridge, M.Div.


Reviews, Table of Contents, Index of Page Headings, & Excerpts



“Clearbridge has reached into many corners, including her own heart, to gather valuable resources for the committed believer and the spiritual seeker. Meditative exercises, words of guidance, and inspirational quotes will help the reader find prayer, and find God.”

Rev. Walter John Boris, President, The Interfaith Alliance of Washington State Pastor, Kirkland Congregational United Church of Christ

“A sensitive approach to the worship experience. May it aid all those who read it in their search and their reaching for the divine.”

Rabbi Neil Brief Ezra-Habonim, The Niles Township Jewish Congregation

“This gentle, compassionate woman has written a wise and warm book of instruction for those who are timid about beginning to pray or just don't know where to start. The generally non-sectarian nature of the suggestions may be used by anyone who seeks to grow spiritually. The offerings identified with specific religions are thoughtfully chosen to support and encourage. I highly recommend this beautiful book to beginners, and to those with mature prayer lives as well.”

Diane Johnson, Ph.D., Psychotherapist

This book is available at selected bookstores and by mail order. For an Order Form you can print, click here.

Table of Contents

Talking About God

Praying Alone





     Theologies, Spirituality, & Religion

     Mudras & Kanjis


     Finding Your Life Purpose


     Ancient History

     What (or Who) is God?

Praying Together

     Ceremonies & Rites

Atonement & Mercy


Thank You!


Praying for Others

What Happens Next?

Index of Prayers & Page Headings

Sources, Thanks & Acknowledgments

About the Author

Index of Page Headings


Afternoon Prayer

The act of praying

All my Ancestors who have power for good in my life

Ancient History

animals, trees, stone

As its web a spider emits and draws in

Aspects of God’s Mercy

The act of praying

At our meeting in Delhi


Be aware of your words

Be still and know that I am God

Beloved God of Joy

Beloved Source of all, I pause in the midst of this day

Betterment Prayers & Affirmations



But what are angels, Mummy?

Contemplation for Marking the Year

Cosmos Meditation

Daily Prayers

Evening Meditation

Evening Prayer

Finding Your Life Purpose

For all that has been, thanks

Forgive me, God, for I have sinned

The fruit of silence

Garden Blessing

God, Help Me to Find You

God is rooting for you

Good morning, Earth!

Good morning, Gaia!

Gracious God, give me the ability to perceive you

Have you ever been so frightened

Heal me of bad luck

Heal me of poverty

Heal me of wrong trust

Healer’s Prayer


Help me, above all, to do no harm

Help me, God

How do I begin

How does one pray

I am God’s by day, I am God’s by night

I arise, shine, for the light has come

I ask that You provide

I bend my knee, worship and give thanks to God

I had to abandon

I like to imagine that God is a cloud rolling over

I pray that my real needs are met

I pray to be treated kindly

I pray today for awareness

I shall remember God when I am with my children

i thank You God for most this amazing

I think the most important question

I wish you

If talking to God is difficult for you

In one salutation to thee, my God

Increase my strength

Invoking A Deity

It can be frightening to find God

Just as the hand, held before the eye

Let me be a blessing to everyone

Let me be a voice of peace today whenever I speak

Let my thoughts be gentle

Lord, I ask that the pleasures sustain me through the pain

Lord, the air smells good today

May all beings be happy and at their ease!

May all I say and all I think

May I be humble and forgiving to all

May my blessings have power

May the light of the sun take root in me!

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart

Meal Meditation

Morning Prayers

Mudras & Kanjis

My bed has four little corners

my soul sings quietly today

O Grandmother

O Lord, Thou art in the little pebbles

Obstinate are the trammels

October 2nd

Oh Kind Dei

Oh loving, vast God of all!


Other Helpers

Our Lord, bestow on us endurance

Our Lord, forgive us our sins

Our Lord, in You we have placed our trust

Our Lord, let our hearts not deviate from the truth

Our Lord, perfect our light for us

Our people used to live on the edge of survival

Panic Prayer

Praise to God, who brings the evening twilight

Prayer Before Sleep

Prayer of Confidence

Prayer of Thanks

Prayer to Introduce a Child To The Cosmos (Omaha)

Prayers & Affirmations

Prayers & Contemplations on Waking

Prayers for Healing

Prayers for Healing After Trauma

Prayers for Help

Prayers of Penitence

Prayers on First Going Outside

Praying for Others

Praying together

Reach up, up—

Sacred Space

The same stream of life

The shape of my life today

Silence is vital


Some say God is like the ocean

Song of the Sky Loom

Stand barefoot in the dirt

The sun rises

Talking About God

Teach me how to pray

The lesson I learned then

Their great Mother Spirit was to them

Theologies, Spirituality, & Religion

This is my prayer to thee, my lord

Thy will, not mine, be done

Uproot the dominion of arrogance in me

Was God ever explained to you

We're here—thousands strong

What feelings do the names of God bring to you?

What happens next?

When you were told about God as a child

Where I sit is holy

Why do we pray?

With joy do I cook!

Working Together with God

You refresh me with your living waters

You cause the wind to blow and the rain to fall

Your body is of God



This is a workbook with prayers, poems, meditations, ideas to ponder, stories, and quotations. I hope it helps you. Feel free to write to me with suggestions and comments.

I wish you godspeed!*


* godspeed: A wish of success to one setting out on a journey or undertaking

In order to be as neutral as possible in referring to God, standard English pronouns cannot be used, as they assign gender. Many languages have genderless pronouns—please substitute the ones you prefer.

I use these:

ze: it, her, him

ze’s: its, her, hers, his

Ze: God

Ze’s: God’s

How does one pray?

What is prayer?

There are several kinds of prayer:

    giving thanks (worship)

    request (help me)

    power sharing (through You I create)

    asking questions

Under which category are each of these?







Daily Prayers

Even though you don’t know what you’re doing, or to Whom you’re speaking, or why, or how—begin anyway. Begin a daily practice of talking to God. Introduce yourself. If you start a dialogue, it is likely that you will receive an answer.

When the soul sings, all of creation answers!

God, help me to find you

I wish to have my eyes opened

my heart is ready

I am patient

but impatient, too!

I am ready for mystery

I am ready to not know

I wish to wonder

I know there is more to life

but don’t know where to look, or how

help me!

[Now in silence, receptive, sit or walk in a peaceful place. Listen and look. 10 minutes at least! Morning and evening.]

Gracious God

give me the ability to perceive you

diligence to seek you

eyes to behold you

wisdom to meditate upon you

and a life to proclaim you

—adaptation of a prayer of St. Benedict

How do I begin?

The usual way is to open the lines of communication by developing a spiritual practice wherein you acknowledge or speak to God every day. Many days pass and you continue to speak. The act of speaking, and your devotion to doing it, and your yearning—your lust for God—open your perception and you make contact.

Or sometimes a prayer is answered, and that brings certainty; you increase your practice, and that brings more blessings and thus more certainty. Over time your connection becomes sure and nourishing and splendid.

Or sometimes you are the blessed recipient of a miracle—God touches your shoulder, or perhaps kisses you—your eyes are opened and you see. You are the mystic.

Reach up, up—pray through the top of your head!

Daily Prayers

With joy do I cook!

With joy do I eat!

With joy and thankfulness do I

cleanse the kitchen and let it rest!

[Invent a prayer for whatever task you are doing.]

Silence is vital.

Make friends with silence.

I do not mean you should shut out all sounds until you are lost within the pounding of your blood within your ears. The sounds of animals and weather, trees and stars, are wonderful and nourishing.

Set aside regular times to sit or walk in silence.

Make your sleeping room as free as possible from machine noises (refrigerators, clocks, computer and lights humming), street and neighbor noises, and all the rest. If you are in a quiet place, open a window a little to hear the insects and birds, the wind and rain.

Nearly everyone requires silence to find God.

prayer begins and ends with silence

The act of praying

doesn’t mean that something called God hears you and obeys by granting your request (or demand).

In an act of prayer, you reach out of your usual rather-small self. You consciously link to the astoundingly-large creative force, you resonate in harmony with it. You commune. You access the common power. You touch God.

This changes you.

The situation you are in may not change. Often Godpower surges through you into the situation and it does change. Often, it doesn’t matter whether it changes or not, because it will feel different to you because you have changed.

Prayer on First Going Outside

The sun rises

and as it does,

I feel the hope rise

within me.

Thank You

for once again

making all things possible.

Have you ever been so frightened

that you yelled out—or thought—“Oh God!”

Have you ever experienced such an intensity of joy that you yelled out—or thought—“Oh God!”

Have you ever seen such beauty that you gave thanks for its existence? Or for your own?


Prayer for Help

Help me God, to lie down in peace and to rise up full of life.

Spread over me your peace.

Direct me through your good counsel.

Shelter me with your protecting love.

Guard my going out and my coming in.

Help me to have knowledge, understanding, and discernment.

Draw me near to your service.

Help me to cope with grief and suffering.

Lord, you are the staff and trust of they who suffer.

May I feel your everlasting peace.

-- paraphrased from Jewish prayer

my soul sings quietly today

as i do daily things

driving, washing, planning, talking

i hear my soul burbling joyfully underneath

i smile

people ask me why i’m cheerful

with the state of the world the way it is

i do grieve for the state of the world

but the state of my soul

is singing

©2002, revised 2008, by Barbara Clearbridge

This book is available at some bookstores. You can also purchase it by mail order: For an Order Form you can print, press here.

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