Shaped Through Centering Prayer by Pamela Bond
Prayer has been a passion of mine for over forty years. I was taught to pray specifically and intentionally as Scripture tells us to intercede on behalf of others and ourselves. And so I did, yet, now looking back, I was doing all the talking, and I imagine now that God was probably saying, “Yes, but…ok, and…”, not able to get a word in, because I was rambling on and on.
Centering Prayer, or Wordless Prayer, is something I have discovered more recently in my faith journey. It came as an earnest passion to know Christ at the depths of my soul. Through reading the words from saints who lived long ago, and those more recent, who practice a contemplative life, I began to just sit and listen.
How has this type of prayer impacted me? I have learned to respond to the beautiful invitation of God that has wooed me into the center of my being to meet with Him, no agenda, no striving, no words. And just being in His presence, I am transformed by His loving Spirit.
It’s like a jaundiced newborn that lays under the lights to help the excess of bilirubin be absorbed. The baby just lays there. The light does all the work. We can’t see what is happening at the time, but we see the results. So it is with Centering Prayer. We sit still before the Lord, and the Light of His presence does the work. We may or may not see what is being done at the time, but we see the results in our lives.
The Postinia of my heart is the place I meet the One who knows me, loves me, and empowers me to minister to others. For the first time, I KNOW that God loves me. I am shown what I need to let go of, or the face of someone I need to forgive comes to mind. At times I feel His presence cover me like a blanket. I have a deeper love for those around me and a desire to serve them. I can still intercede on other’s behalf, but during Centering Prayer, I realize He already knows all, and I can rest in His sovereignty.
"Stand still. And allow the strange, deadly restlessness of our tragic age to fall away like the worn-out, dusty cloak that it is - a cloak that was once considered beautiful. The restlessness was considered the magic to tomorrow, but now in reality we see it for what it is, a running away from oneself, a turning from that journey inward that all men must undertake to meet God swelling within the depths of their souls. Stand Still, and look deep into the motivations of life. Stand still, and lifting your hearts and hands to God pray that the mighty wind of His Holy Spirit may clear all the cobwebs of fears, selfishness, greed, narrow-heartedness away from the soul: that His tongues of flame may descend to give courage to begin again.” (Celtic Daily Prayer, Pg. 809)
*Photo credit by Geetanjal Khanna from Unsplash
Pamela Bond has been in full-time ministry for over forty years as a missionary, pastor’s wife, and church planter. She is a mother to four wonderful adults, nine grandchildren, and lives with her husband in Sparks, Nevada. Pamela co-authored, with her husband, Stephen, “Ten Secrets To A Sizzling Marriage."