Guidelines for Centering Prayer
Centering Prayer is all about your relationship with God. It is not self-centred, it is God-centred. You are tuning into the presence of God’s spirit within you. We need sleep to “recharge” our bodies, this prayer “recharges” our inner-life - our soul. In this prayer we are not asking for anything specific; although it is about cultivating an openness to God’s will being done within us. In Centering Prayer we “sunbathe in God’s presence.” Rowan Williams.
This prayer is akin to sitting in the presence of someone you love, without having to talk to them. It facilitates the movement from talking to God to simply being in the presence of God. It is not a mental discipline - to fix your mind or your blood pressure! When it comes to method, if you don’t do it correctly, it doesn’t matter. It’s all about intention Principle method is to sit down. Once you sit down the Spirit has got you. Doing it is the final discipline.
Choose a sacred word - Come Jesus; Come Holy Spirit; Maranatha - as a symbol of God’s presence and action within you.
Sitting comfortably with eyes closed, settle briefly and silently introduce the sacred word (God’s presence and action always go together - God is not static, not a statue)
When engaged with your thoughts return ever-so-gently to the sacred word (we acknowledge the fact that there are going to be various thoughts, noises and distractions. Without getting upset by them, simply return to the sacred word).
At the end of the prayer, continue to keep your eyes closed for two minutes. You can say a prayer like the Our Father at this time - very slowly - to gently move you from the prayer period to the end of it.