Private prayer

Private prayer means to pray alone. This is considered very important to Christians, as it is a time when they can personally connect with God.

Private worship gives Christians a chance to spend time alone with God. Prayer, meditation, Bible study and singing hymns may all be done at home. Christians can unite themselves with the Church of God as they pray while not actually going to a physical church. Some Christians belong to the 'house church' movement and meet for worship in each other's homes.

Most Christians use the Bible in private worship. They may read it all over a number of years, or they may reflect on specific parts of it. Some use a study guide to learn how scholars interpret the Bible. Others may read the psalms as they pray.

Symbolism in worship at home

Christians use different symbolic objects to help them pray. A cross or crucifix reminds them of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross and his resurrection.

Some will light a candle to create the right atmosphere to feel the presence of God.

Catholics may use a rosary, a string of beads which helps them count their prayers as they meditate on the life of Jesus and call on Mary to offer their prayers to God; they call this intercession.

Extemporaneous prayers

Extemporaneous prayers are prayers that are said without prepared words. An example of this might be after someone has heard some bad news, they will say a prayer for those who are involved. Some Christians believe this type of prayer to be more heartfelt as they are not ‘arranged’.

Informal prayers

Informal prayer refers to prayers which speak to God in more simple, everyday language.