Practicing centering prayer will change your life. Don’t let the word “prayer” throw you. There’s a tendency to compartmentalize the notion of prayer from some forms of institutional religion but practicing it has shown it to be a journey that holds the power to change your life. It changed my life and brought me another step closer to happiness – my new definition of eternal life.
What do I mean by eternal life as being “happiness?” Rather than the life after life image that modern Christianity attaches to eternal life, the biblical writers were speaking of life during life…the quality of life God wants for you (and all people) now. That translates into happiness. Centering prayer can help you get there.
Centering prayer is a conversation without words or communion with the Divine. Many of my analogies come from a Christian background, but as I grow in my attempts to understand other forms of religion, I hope I can use what they offer that leads us toward a better world.
What Are The Benefits of Centering Prayer?
1. Inner peace. Do you find peace within when you watch television? Or the nightly news? Or as you try to mimic the perfect people in magazines and advertisements? Peace has to be found within your heart and mind before you’ll find it anywhere else. Jesus said, “My peace I give you.” You can’t give something away if you don’t have it to give.
2. Self-growth. I don’t know a better way of saying it than “enhancing the process of maturity.” I always wondered why the Old Testament/Hebrew Scriptures referred to Israel as the children of Israel. They were adults in body and yet, children in the way they acted. (Do you know any adults who still act like children?) They must not have been practicing centering prayer. In Aramaic, to be “good” is to be ripe, complete, suited for its purpose…coming into its own.
3. Faith-growth. No, I don’t mean faith as is believing everything the church, synagogue, or mosque has pushed into your brain. The Greek word for “faith” means “trust” or “full confidence” in the One you follow rather than blind adherence to ancient institutional doctrine. Centering prayer can help you begin to trust the communication (the word of the Lord) you receive from the One who dwells within you. Many Bible verses tell us the Divine lives within us.
4. Awareness of the moment. Happiness is found in today and if you aren’t aware of that, you’ll miss the beauty and joy that is offered to you, like a plate full of fine foods and a wineglass that never runs dry.
Try centering prayer for six months – the journey will help you take a new step toward inner peace and happiness.
Has anything else helped you to achieve some of the desired results I’ve listed above?