Happiness is finding your center. Personally, I think that’s where God dwells. In my post on the 5 steps of centering prayer, I spelled out how to get started.
I don’t stop using any other forms of prayer by practicing this method. This method simply deepens and encourages the other forms throughout the day. Instead of a verbal exchange with an external God, this method is an intentional effort to commune with the Unknowable and increases my sense of that Presence within.
In the previous post, I said I made a CD timer for myself that helped me to know when the 20 minutes was over without ruining the peaceful frame of mind I’d cultivated. I wrote some instructions on how you can make a prayer timer for yourself. The directions were first published in Pray! magazine when they had a print version. Today I use an app on my DROID called Insight Timer. I think I paid $3.95 for it.
This is not a “win” or “lose” kind of activity in which the goal is to walk away without your feet touching the ground. Sometimes its work to try to empty your mind. If you can’t stop thinking of things, it’s okay. You have begun the process of learning to be intentional about what you permit to occupy your mind — and that’s always a “win.”
The Benefits of Centering Prayer
Sometimes it’s frustrating to pray this kind of prayer. But that’s the point. It helps you begin to recognize thoughts that are occupying your mind and teaches you that it is in your power to let them go. You have a choice to hold onto thoughts or to let them go, which takes practice. You have a choice to follow your emotions or to possess peace. This kind of prayer helps you learn to gain a degree of control over how long you allow a thought to remain into your consciousness.
The benefits of centering prayer will come as you watch how you gain greater control of your thoughts in everyday life. Thoughts that stir your emotions are not always a good foundation for actions. Others will often recognize a change in you before you notice it yourself.
Once you’ve learn to center, you will have learned to find peace that passes understanding. Have you tried centering prayer yet?