Centering Prayer is a practice of prayer closely connected with Lectio Divina that incorporates silence, solitude and stillness. It is a method of silent prayer that trains our mind to be at rest with God, attentive to God, and prepares us to receive the gift of contemplative prayer, prayer in which we experience God’s presence with us. Centering prayer is grounded in our relationship with God, through Jesus Christ, and is focused on growing that relationship from conversation to communion.
- In a quiet space, sit comfortably with your eyes closed.
- Silently identify a sacred word or phrase to focus on as the symbol of your consent to God’s presence and action within you. The sacred word or phrase should be a characteristic of or name for God. (Holy God, Jesus, Lord have mercy, love, grace…)
- Silently, and at your own pace, repeat your sacred word or phrase. Each time you become aware of other thoughts, return gently to repeating the sacred word or phrase so that your attention remains fully focused on God.
- At the end of this time of prayer, remain silent with your eyes closed for two or three more minutes as you slowly turn your focus back to your own thoughts and surroundings.
It is recommended to pray in this way for a minimum of 20 minutes, two times a day. But, this requires practice, so start out slowly with initial prayer periods of five to ten minutes, working up to the desired length of time.