Pillars Part 4

This week we talked about prayer as a discipline. For me, during the past few years I have run the gamut between prayer needing to be a fixed point in my schedule to wondering that if God is in control – what is the real point of prayer at all. I’m certain that you’ve thought about the idea of prayer and wondered if “you had it right” or whether you could “do it” at all. Prayer is such an enigmatic topic that many times we chose not to dive into it. We wait for priests, rabbis, imams, pastors or teachers to tell us “what it is”. Here is the interesting point, those guys you are waiting to tell you what prayer is often have the same struggle defining it and practicing it.

Loved the discussion about prayer we had Sunday. If you missed it you can hear it here. One of the aspects I want to just touch on is Centering Prayer. The idea was brought into prominence by Father Thomas Keating several decades ago. In a simple nutshell, centering prayer is about sitting and allowing the thoughts in your mind to pass by unattached to you. Think of sitting by a stream. Carried by the current of the stream are the thoughts that are passing through your mind. Consciously let them pass by. It takes effort. but eventually the number of thoughts will decrease and the static/noise level in your mind will subside.

Doing this for just twenty minutes can have a dramatic difference in your day. I know you may be saying that if I’m praying I should be saying something. This is one of the misconceptions we have with prayer. Think of a situation where you asked an opinion about something and your inner thought was your true feeling, but you said the opposite. Our true self resides within and can be heard when we sift through the myriad of brain chatter that vies for our attention each day.

Try each day to visualize yourself for a few moments at the streams edge and watch the thoughts go by and dissipate. This is the “centering” part of centering prayer. Just like everything else in our lives, practices that have the greatest amount of impact take time and effort to learn and become part of our daily rhythm.

Explore posts in the same categories: Awareness, Centering Prayer, Context, Message Series, religion, Rhythm

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