It might seem simple, but the primary instruction for the Centering Prayer is to “be quiet.” Most of the time our prayers are thoughts or words but we rarely make space to hear what God may be trying to say to us. Centering Prayer is about allowing ourselves to rest in God’s presence, to allow us to simply enjoy the knowledge of God’s love for us.
CENTERING PRAYER EXERCISE
1. Find a comfortable place to sit. You should sit in such a way that you are relaxed and settled – but not so relaxed you fall asleep! Try to let go of all your thoughts, restlessness, tensions, and stress from the day, and simply be present.
2. Read the Daily Scripture, letting the words help you settle into a quiet space.
3. Choose a word or phrase you can roll over in your mind, repeating it in such a way that it focuses your thoughts without dominating them. It can be anything, but choose something that helps you become aware of God’s presence. Examples can be “Jesus”, “Hope”, or “Marya” (the Aramaic word for Lord). Use this to settle your mind when you find your mind wandering.
4. Once you’ve found a word and find yourself settled, allow yourself simply to be still and silent. Try to focus on the sensation of being free, of nothing demanding anything of you or your time. Simply rest in God’s love. If you find your mind beginning to wander, simply begin to repeat the phrase or word again until your mind settles. Keep this word or phrase at the forefront of your mind during this exercise. This will create the necessary focus to prevent you from getting distracted.
5. Once you’ve done this for awhile (give yourself at least 7-10 minutes), take a few moments to slowly come out of the silence, thanking God for His desire to be close to us. Some people find a prayer like the Lord’s Prayer helpful in this moment, as a reminder for what God is calling us to do during prayer.
This week’s Scriptures are all from the Songs of Ascent. These songs were sung by the Israelites as they would travel to Jerusalem for the Passover, the yearly celebration of God’s deliverance from their exile in Egypt.
Monday – Psalm 121
Tuesday – Psalm 122
Wednesday – Psalm 124
Thursday – Psalm 126
Friday – Psalm 127
Saturday – Psalm 131
As a family or with friends, have a games night with fun, food and, of course, games! Games are a great way to bond with people you care about, but they’re also great for reminding us that our lives aren’t all about work. This Sabbath, focus on the joy that comes from play, and remember that God designed you to enjoy your time on this earth!
Take a photo of your group that best represents “how you play.”
Some things you can try:
- Pick a board game that none of you have ever played before. There are some great places online for recommendations, like http://boardgamegeek.com/.
- Have a “musical games” night where you pick 3-4 simple quick games, set them all up, and rotate to each game as you finish a round.
- If you just can’t decide what to play, put a piece (or card) from each game in a hat and have someone draw it out at random.
On the Sabbath, my son, Jared, and I played a brand new game that we couldn’t get enough of; we played it five times! It’s the Phylo Trading Card Game, an eco system card game that was not only strategic and challenging, but taught us how complicated ecosystems are when trying to balance food chains, terrains, climate, etc., especially. What’s really cool is that you can print off and print your own set of cards. This is a crowd-sourced initiative so new cards with different species keep popping up, contributed by educators, museums, etc. If you’re curious, you can download the cards and rules at phylogame.org. Thanks, Tom, for giving us an excuse to try a new game!
Thank you for this. I’m so far away, but feel so much a part of Westheights. I pray for you often.