Centering Prayer

This week’s “Leading Mission Tip” will continue the focus on spiritual formation as the basis for discerning God’s will for individuals and the congregation. There are many types of spiritual practices which open us to connecting with God’s Spirit. Last week’s practice was “Dwelling in the Word.” Another practice is “Centering Prayer.” This is one way to follow Jesus’ example of frequently taking time for rest and renewal to be with God. If it is new to you, start with 10 minutes and gradually increase to 20 minutes. Try this practice as the opening for any congregational meeting or class:

Assume a relaxed position, feet on floor. Offer a brief prayer such as, “God, I’m here, waiting, listening, open. Empty me of fear, worry, and inner noise. Allow me to rest and find renewal in your presence.” Breathe deeply, letting go of all tension. Focus on breathing God in, all else out, until you feel calm and centered. Continue paying attention to your breath as you focus your body, mind, and spirit on the reality that God is present and that you are here to love and be loved by God. Listen for a word that expresses the desires or concerns of your heart. (Don’t rush or hurry to find a word, but let it come to you.) When you have been made aware of the prayer word, repeat it silently to yourself as you breathe out. (Breathe in – silence; Breathe out – prayer word, such as “peace” “trust” “neighbor”) When the time for prayer is over, give thanks to God.

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