Centering Prayer

David Muyskens

READ : Psalm 46

“Be still and know that I am God!” (v. 10)

Have you ever had the problem of your mind wandering when you are trying to pray? Who hasn’t? I have found a method called “centering prayer” to be helpful. It helps me become aware of the presence of Christ dwelling at the center of my being. The result is a greater awareness of God the rest of the time. It is a way of dealing with the many distracting thoughts that come when I take time to be quiet with God.

There are always many thoughts that come to mind when I am in silent prayer. I disregard them by repeating a word that says, “I want to be with you, God.” For a long time the word I used was my favorite name of God. I would let distractions vanish by recalling that name. I now use a word that expresses my desire to be open to the presence of the Triune God. Instead of trying to chase random thoughts away I gently return to that word. Rather than resisting or reacting to my various thoughts I simply restate my intention to focus upon the presence of God.

Twice a day I take twenty minutes for this centering prayer. The practice helps me know that God is near.


Help us, O God, to be still enough to know your loving presence. Amen.