To start my ‘Year of Surrender’, I decided to dedicate time every day to Centering Prayer. Sometimes it’s called Contemplative Prayer. Thomas Keating has dedicated much of his life and writing to teaching this type of prayer. It’s all about surrender.
This is prayer of the quiet. It’s making a conscious decision not to think or say anything to the Lord, only to be present in the moment. It’s opening my soul to what God wants to say or give. Centering prayer is wordless and intention-less. I’m sitting at the Lord’s feet, surrendering my mind and heart to the one who made them. It’s a silent ‘yes’, so he can flow into my soul without obstacle.
Waiting in expectation is the foundation of the Spiritual Life. ~Simone Weil
It’s harder than it sounds. I’m a bit of a chatterer when it comes to prayer. Like King David, I talk about my problems, hopes and dreams. It’s wonderful and necessary. But it’s also limiting. My constant stream of words block any listening. I’m so intent on letting God know what I need, I don’t give him any time to communicate his heart to me.
I also find that mentally slowing down to a crawl opens the door to a lot of interior noise. I think my overworked and crowded brain can’t believe it finally got a minute of silence. So excited to have the floor, it starts rapid-firing it’s repressed messages. “Make that phone call! Pay that bill! Light a candle! Did you turn off the oven?” If my mind were a firework, it would be a Roman Candle.
The goal is to let the babble run at a low volume so I can get back to quiet. My friend Amy told me that at the moment of distraction, she asks Jesus to pray for that thought. Then she forgets it, because it’s covered. I liked that strategy, and began to use it.
Even though this is a new practice, I have seen evidence of new graces. Situations that bothered me before are met with more peace. I have a new practice of talking less and listening more. Oh and…ahem…I’ve discovered a pretty big-sized ego that needs some work. Turns out my life isn’t all about me.
We have to pitch our tents where we shall always have quiet times with God, however noisy our times with the world may be. ~Oswald Chambers
I hope that all who have chosen a word for the year are being graced with renewed strength in them. It’s only midyear, and there’s much more ahead. I’m looking forward to what God will show me. I’m hoping that Jesus will calm all those insistent voices too.
I think Amy is on to something. If I give myself to silent prayer, and then give my distractions to Jesus, I am surrendering twice. I think the Lord likes that.
I know I do.
The door to the soul’s surrender, and the key to the voice of God.
Surrounded by the Spirit on Facebook