I have to admit that I fell in love with Centering Prayer the first time I tried it. I think it was the silence…the absence of words, or the need to say the “right thing” to God. It was just the two of us sitting together, like an old couple on their front porch on a summer day, not talking. They’ve heard each other’s stories a thousand times and just being together is enough.
That’s the idea behind Centering Prayer…sitting in God’s presence. There’s no agenda other than consenting the time to God, and so, you want to get your concerns, thoughts, worries, needs out of the way. The way you do this practically is with the use of a word. It really can be any word you want. There’s nothing particularly special about this word, other than it’s a placeholder for your intention to just be with God. And so, as you sit quietly, for however much time you’ve put aside for this practice, inevitably thoughts will arise. And in your mind, you say your word, to bring you back to why you were here in the first place…to be with God. The practice is one way to “Be still and know that I am God.”
I love this practice. I don’t have to be cleaver with my words or come to God with a list of items I hope He’ll help me with. We just sit together.
I love this practice. I don’t have to be cleaver with my words or come to God with a list of items I hope He’ll help me with. We just sit together. What I have found is that the practice helps me recognize the presence of God throughout my day. Of course, He’s always there, but now I’m more apt to see Him.
Here’s the thing, for me, it’s difficult to find the space actually to practice this spiritual discipline. My home is noisy and in constant motion, so that can’t be the place for Centering Prayer. So if it’s going to happen, I usually use our break time at work and sneak off to a quiet room in the building, away from my desk, where my work is calling to me, or where people know to find me. I sit quietly for a few moments, just to be with my God.
by Matt Hodgson, Resource Creator, Spiritual Life Development, USA East