Liturgical prayer is ritual verbal praise, confession, thanksgiving, and/or petition that we offer to God, often in the company of other pray-ers.
Most written prayers are intended for the community of believers. Even when individuals pray alone, they join their voices with those who employ the same words. As with any other group activity, there is comfort and perspective in this unified approach. Indeed, the Book of Common Prayer was written first for the purpose of edifying the body of believers. Individual use is only its secondary purpose.
If you are in a group, begin as above, reading the words to yourself and then mouthing or whispering them softly. Pray aloud together, in unison or antiphonally, as the prayer suggests. Listen to the person next to you. Do not concern yourselves with perfect pronunciations, but take a measured pace so you can hear and join with one another. When you finish, listen in silence. Be aware of how God may be responding, what words, phrases, or thoughts are resonating, and how these interact with your group’s situation or need. Repeat the prayer, again in unison. This time focus on the Lord to whom you are praying. What aspects of his character or work does the prayer emphasize? Listen in silence for a few moments.
After the silence, you may wish to share with one another what stood out to you as you prayed. Or you may simply move on to the next group activity, resting in the assurance that God has heard your petitions and praises and joins your group as you proceed.