The simple way to practice centering prayer

Centering prayer is about cultivating an awareness of the presence of God and an attitude of submission to his will. In other words, it is practicing consent to the loving action of God to conform you ever more to the image of Christ.

“For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” –St. Paul (Romans 8:29, NLT)

Here’s how you start:

  1. Find a comfortable position, perhaps seated with your back straight. Closing your eyes can be a helpful symbol of turning your attention to God and can keep you from getting distracted.
  2. Choose a single word or phrase that serves as a reminder of the Divine presence. Examples might be “Grace,” “Abba, Father,” “Jesus,” “Christ have mercy,” etc.
  3. Consider setting a timer on your watch or phone for anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes and commit to setting aside that time to practice surrender to God via centering prayer.
  4. Turning your attention to the reality of God within you, allow your thoughts to pass by without engaging them, focusing entirely on God. When you find yourself distracted, very gently turn back to your sacred word, letting it go when it is no longer needed.

If you’re interested in making centering prayer or other forms of Christian meditation a habit that lasts, consider this 21-day email course.

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