Today's Devotional is provided by
by Rev. Dr. Robin Hawley Gorsline
Lord, teach us to pray. (Luke 11:1)
Many of the greatest contemporary Christian spiritual teachers extol the benefits of this form of prayer which has roots in the contemplative prayer of the early church. It is one I find powerful-when I take the time to engage in it.
The world is noisy and busy (and so is my mind) so that this form of
prayer can calm and center me. It is silent meditation focuses on the presence of God, a receptive method of silent prayer that prepares us to receive the gift of contemplative prayer, prayer in which we experience God's presence within us, closer than breathing, closer than thinking (which so often trips up my prayers), closer than consciousness itself. This method of prayer is both a relationship with God and a discipline to foster that relationship.
For this practice, you choose a word to set the intention of being aware of God's presence. Repeat this word silently, and when thoughts or feelings arise, return to that word. I have been using "gentleness" during Lent this year.
Some say we are to use this method for twenty minutes twice each day. Don't let that deter you, there are no rules in prayer. Do this when you can for whatever time feels right to you. Even a short time can make a real difference in your life.
Let me be clear. Centering Prayer is not meant to replace other kinds of prayer. Rather, it adds depth of meaning to all prayer and facilitates the movement from more active modes of prayer - verbal, mental or affective prayer - into a receptive time of resting in God.
I find it helpful to get myself into a more intimate space with God, because centering prayer emphasizes prayer as a personal relationship with God and as a movement beyond conversation with Christ to communion with Christ.
Help me, God, to center myself in You.
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