Thursday, March 1, 2012

Creating space for God

When I was younger, I was given the advice that I should take some time everyday to be with myself. I really didn’t know what I was supposed to do. I thought I was with myself all the time! Daytime was time to be busy, spending time at work, with others and involved in lots of activities. I started to spend part of the day just sitting.  Yes, just sitting there.  Whenever I did it at my parents home, they thought I was bored and came up with ideas for things for me to do!

I made it a habit just to sit alone in my room for 15 minutes or so – mostly doing nothing.  I began to notice the quietness of the day and the warm rays of sun making their ways through the windows. Soon, I noticed a voice inside of me and I listened. I listened to its goodness and love. I began to realize that these were times of real prayer, of meditation, when I was filled with God’s love and presence.

If simply sitting there is too much at first, here are some ways to introduce yourself to a time alone with God:
Daily Devotions in the Book of Common Prayer (p. 137).  Short liturgies that can be said in 3-5 minutes.
Silence. Find a quiet place and close your eyes and let your thoughts go. Really, as they come to you, imagine that they are floating by you on a river. Let them go. (You can even do this at work or in school!)
Say a mantra. Repeat a sacred word or phrase over and over again. You’ll be surprised how it quiets your mind and body.  Try, “Come Holy Spirit, Come.”
Count beads. The word “bead” comes from “bede,” a fourteenth century word meaning prayer. You can make Anglican Prayer beads, wear a bead bracelet or carry a string of beads in your pocket. Count the beads with the name of people for whom you’d like to pray.
Color a mandala. If you’re like me, I concentrate better when I’m doodling. Mandalas are circular designs that you can color and center yourself. (Search “mandala” on the internet for designs.)
There are many more ways to pray. I’ve suggested this short list to encourage you that prayer can be simple. Find your own way!
Thanks to Jenifer C. Gamber who inspired this reflection