Each Saturday, during our sermon series on prayer, Talking With God, we will offer a different prayer practice. I encourage you to try each of them, even if they seem different or out of your comfort zone. God will use our efforts to pray, no matter how uncomfortable or clumsy they may be.
Today, we will try Quieting Prayer. Set a timer for 5 minutes. Read through the simple directions, then begin the timer and follow the instructions below.
Thomas Merton, the late Catholic priest and mystic, once said, “Let there be a place somewhere in which you can breathe naturally, quietly, and not have to take your breaths in continuous short gasps. A place where your mind can be idle, and forget its concerns, descend into silence, and worship the Father in secret.” May you find such a place today.
Begin by asking God to teach you how to still and quiet your soul.
Remember that this will take time and practice. Do not strive or fall into self-effort, for your part is to simply open yourself to God and to the work of the Holy Spirit in you. For now, simply ask God to bless you, protect you, guide you...as you spend this time in his presence.
Find a position that allows you to be relaxed and alert. It helps to have your neck and spine aligned
Close your eyes and breathe deeply several times. Consciously release any muscle tension you become aware of. Breathe in peace, breathe out tension.
Relax your mind. When thoughts call for your attention, see if you can find a way to gently let go of them, releasing them to God.
Turn your attention to God’s presence. Let yourself be fully aware of God’s love that always surrounds you. Rest and soak up His love for you.
It may help to think of or visualize an image.
Here are some suggestions or you can use one of your own:
1. Water that has been stirred up...allowing it to settle and become still.
2. A young child simply resting against their parent.
3. Being with someone you love dearly and feel no need to speak to, just to be with...loving them and receiving their love without words.
4. Sitting in a gently moving stream, feeling the water as it moves past you.
Close your prayer time by thanking God for his presence and love.
“The only one who can teach me to find God is God Himself, alone.” Thomas Merton
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version ® NIV ®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.