This Lenten season I have been incorporating the Centering Prayer in my daily time with God. It’s been nearly a week and I must say, I have a lot to learn. I am so far from being perfect at it, but honestly that’s not the point of this prayer. It’s not to be the best or to do it correctly, but to spend time in the presence of God. To center one’s life on His Presence.
So, what is the Centering Prayer?
The Centering Prayer is essentially a prayer that invites one into the Presence of God. It’s a silent prayer. It’s a prayer that prepares your heart and mind to quietly rest in God. And it’s a rebellious act against this loud, demanding world.
Unlike other prayers, it’s main objective is communion rather than conversation with God.
So, how do you do it?
I have been following the Gravity Center’s instructions:
- Sit in an upright, attentive posture in a way that allows for an erect spine and open heart. Place hands in your lap.
- Gently close your eyes and bring to mind your sacred word, image or breath as your symbol to consent to the presence and action of God within you. Your sacred symbol is intended to be the same every time you pray. It helps to ground you in the present moment, allowing you to give your undivided loving, yielded attention to God. Choose a name for God or a characteristic for God like, Love, Peace, etc.
- Silently, with eyes closed, recall your sacred symbol to begin your prayer. As you notice your thoughts, gently return to your sacred word. Do this however many times you notice your thoughts.
- When your prayer period is over, transition slowly from your prayer practice to your active life.
It is recommended to pray in this fashion for a minimum of 20 minutes, two times a day. Start out slowly with initial prayer periods of five to ten minutes, working up to the desired length of time.
40 Days of the Centering Prayer
My goal is to spend the remaining years of my life doing this prayer, but this Lenten season I was compelled to have a concentrated effort in learning this prayer.
It’s been nearly a week and I must confess that my 9W1 (see Enneagram) is at odds. I desire the silence and peace that this prayer offers, but I also desire to do it right and perfectly and my inner critic tells me that I am doing it wrong and that I should stop.
Thankfully, I have a God that speaks louder than my own inner critic and He encourages me to continue. He tells me that the point is not to do it right, but to just be with Him. And honestly, that’s what I want most in this world — to spend time in the presence of my Lord and Savior. And I get to do it!
This prayer reminds me how blessed I am to have a God who loves and who desires communion with His Creation. So, why not spend the remaining parts of my life learning to do something that I will get to do for eternity? It’s the already, but not yet.
I am pre-gaming for Eternity, friends.