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An invitation to pray

For those who want to pray but cannot find the words they want to say, the Church has suggestions to offer online.

Here in Sussex, one prayer specially close to our hearts is the one attributed to Saint Richard of Chichester (1197–1253).

St Richard spent several years tramping the roads of Sussex as a homeless outcast, after King Henry III refused to allow him to accept election as bishop of Chichester. Eventually Henry relented, and he became a bishop who was greatly loved for his compassion and sweetness of character.

St Richard is said to have composed the following prayer on his deathbed:

Thanks be to thee, O Lord Jesus Christ,
for all the benefits which thou hast won for us,
for all the pains and insults thou hast borne for us.
O most merciful Redeemer, Friend and Brother,
may I know thee more clearly,
love thee more dearly
and follow thee more nearly
day by day.

The bronze statue of St Richard at Chichester Cathedral, by the sculptor Philip Jackson, was commissioned by the Friends of the Cathedral to celebrate the millennium.

The Church of England has a website which, as well as quoting specific prayers for diverse occasions, discusses the practical business of learning to pray.

Another valuable site is the one maintained by a group of Bedford churches – see particularly their page of short prayers.

You are not alone.

The “St Richard of Chichester” rose, developed by Harkness Roses

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