Centering Prayer is about releasing yourself wholly and fully into the presence of God. Inviting Him to your sacred space. To be one’s true self void of the perception and pretense of the world.
I started studying Centering Prayer earlier this year and it has opened my heart in a whole new way of receiving the presence of God. It has opened my world to His presence daily and has become a new and intricate way of life for me. Although I don’t practice Centering Payer every day, I do live it every day.
To know God – I mean – to really know Him, you must step into intimacy. Authentic, bindless, deep perception, no noise, face to face, intimacy.
It was through Centering Prayer that I learned how to step into that intimacy. It is a place, a space, that I can only share with one other – the one that knows all. The one I allow to know all. The One I share all my secrets, thoughts, fears, gifts, weakness, talents, annoyances…everything. What I know in those moments of emotional raw nakedness is the great and mighty presence of Father God. Where all doubts fade, and truth stand like a tall oak tree rooted and bound by the one who created it.
In that place I find my peace. In the presence of God Almighty I am redeemed from the past and nothing stands between. In those moments of silence, I can hear clearly all I need to hear. His voice. From a whisper to a roar.
Do I have to go to Centering Prayer to hear Him? No. I hear Him many times throughout a day. Some more than others. But what Centering Prayer has taught me is how to hear Him during a day. To know, in confidence, the voice I hear is the voice of our God.
I asked my friend Dr. Janice Ryan, who introduced me to Centering Prayer, to share her thoughts. Janice has placed a trauma-informed occupational therapy practice in a church after hearing the voice of God say, “you were born for such a time as this”. When I asked her to tell me what Centering Prayer has meant to her, this is what she said.
“The praise band sang this song last week during our church service. I would say that Centering Prayer allowed me to more fully recognize the truth in these lyrics. The words ring so true to me now that, I don’t want to go to a church that doesn’t sing this song.
Who brings our chaos back into order. Who makes the orphan a son and daughter. The King of Glory, the King of Glory. Who rules the nations with truth and justice. Shines like the sun in all of its brilliance. The King of Glory, the King above all kings. This is amazing grace. This is unfailing love.
After I started studying Centering Prayer in 2004, I began looking around and realizing that we were all practicing what I now call “life preserver” Christianity. Life Preserver Christianity means we were claiming our faith to ensure our salvation while ignoring the chaos our human patterns were and are causing for future generations. This realization changed my life because I felt the constant presence of Jesus and heard Him say, “this is not the example I gave you”.
I would say that it happens because Centering Prayer empowers us to walk in His footsteps and when we do, we realize that only He would take the battle against our selfish, bully world to the cross. Jesus wasn’t only crucified. First, he was tempted to take the easy way out and then he was mocked as if he had delusions of grandeur because he didn’t do that.
Over the course of my life’s journey since I began practicing Centering Prayer, I am constantly reminded of the difference between Life Preserver Christianity and the model God gave us in the life of Jesus Christ. Over time, I have continually been reminded that everyone who follows Jesus experiences a taste of what He experienced but we all tend to fall out at some point along the way. In fact, our current culture considers us as being more of “a loser” the further along His journey we go.
Jesus was a leader who fought for equality. Most of today’s leaders fight for their side to win the battle. That’s how we know that Jesus was fighting an infinite rather than a finite game. He knew finite game winners come and go but, God’s sense of justice will go on forever. Before I began practicing Centering Prayer, I had never thought about the difference between Life Preserver Christianity and the example Jesus gave us during His life on earth.
Before I began practicing Centering Prayer, I had never thought about the beautiful opportunity God gives us to live our life as an infinite rather than a finite game.”