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Create a Centering Prayer by Ellen

Updated: Mar 18, 2020

Throughout the season of Lent, we have worked and planned to stay focused. Lent is a time for a holy rest. The unexpected chaos of a sudden pandemic creates a sense of prolonged uncertainty. Headlines that provoke fear like "Coronavirus changes American life" and "America's way of life changes indefinitely." It is a certain irony that we are expected to remain at all calm in such uncharted waters. We don't know what is ahead of us. In reality, this is a perfect time to be going through Lenten prayers, activities, sacrifices. Before this all began, your church staff was working to create a weekly moment of "centering prayer."

Now more than ever, this is an important way to stay focused and calm.

Here is how to write a centering prayer of your own:

1. Choose a sacred word as the symbol of your intention to consent to God's presence and action within.

2. Find a comfortable, quiet place. (If you have created a "Sacred Space" in your home, this is the perfect opportunity to make use of it throughout the week!)

3. Settle and center yourself in the space where you are sitting. Silently, think of the sacred word.

4. If your mind wanders (as minds do) refocus yourself by thinking of the symbolism behind your word. Think of your word. Say it aloud if you need to refocus.

5. Spend 5-20 (recommended 20) minutes thinking of how God can transform you, steady you, and create a new spirit in you.

If you'd like, close your centering prayer time with the Lord's Prayer or a familiar holy ritual. Centering prayer is a moment to have a relationship with God and to practice spiritual discipline. This is an exercise of faith, hope, and love. This movement takes us beyond conversation with Christ and invites communion.

Centering prayer is a habit and a reminder that God's language is offered to us through stillness and silence.

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