Centering Prayer

Let the Lord lead you to new depths of prayer. Let God give you fresh insights as you pray. Know that Jesus Christ is with you, now and always.

Centering prayer is a method of prayer designed to develop contemplative prayer. Contemplation is not meant to replace other forms of prayer. However, it can bring a new perspective to the other methods of prayer. Centering prayer gives you a fresh sensitivity to God’s presence everywhere, all of the time.

God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – lives in the center of your being. Centering prayer allows you to experience God’s presence now, to be touched by the Lord where you need it the most, and to be transformed in your inner being by the God who loves you.

How to Do Centering Prayer

1.   Sit quietly and relax. Enjoy your own inner silence. Be calm. The Lord lives in the midst of your silence. Listen to hear whatever God wants to share with you. Savor God’s presence and open your heart, allowing yourself to be touched by God in the deepest part of your heart.

2.  Respond to God’s presence with an act of faith. Do not allow your thoughts or feelings to get in the way. When thoughts come into your mind, gently let go of them and focus on a single word, such as – “Jesus,” “Lord,” “Love” – or a phrase that is meaningful to you, such as – “Jesus Christ, Son of God have mercy on me”; “Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world.” This sacred word or phrase is a symbol of your intention to allow God’s presence and action within you.

3.   Put your faith and love into the word or phrase. Whisper it softly. Repeat it slowly and effortlessly, letting it lead you more deeply within your being. God is in you and you are in God. Surrender to God’s refreshment and re-creation.

4.   Center your attention and desire on God. Leave your thoughts and feelings peacefully. Let Jesus draw you into His perfect prayer of adoration, love, and praise. Let it happen. Don’t try to force it, simply go with God’s leading. Whenever you become aware of any distracting thoughts or images, gently return to your word or phrase.

5.   When you end this prayer time, move slowly to a silent awareness of God and then move to a conscious prayer such as The Lord’s Prayer. Say it slowly. Savor the words. Listen to their meaning and make them your own.

6.   Centering prayer may be used once or twice daily for 20 minutes. If you are faithful to pray, you will soon experience the fruits of the Holy Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, self-control. You will abide in God and God in you.

— Written by Bette J. Shellhorn, Ph.D.



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