Meditation is a spiritual discipline that has confused Christians for centuries. Everyone who engages in this practice recognizes it is a challenging venture – one that many give up on too quickly. Trappist Monk, Thomas Merton, comments “One cannot begin to face the real difficulties of the life of prayer and meditation unless one is first perfectly content to be a beginner and really experience himself as one who knows little or nothing and has a desperate need to learn the bare rudiments.” So when it comes to practicing meditational prayer, one needs to be content at feeling like a beginner.
For today’s prayer we’re going to set aside some time (depending on your comfort level and time commitments), perhaps anywhere from 5-30min (or longer if you wish). During this time we’re going to find a quiet place: perhaps this is in your home; maybe, if you have kids running around, it means going out for a walk where it’s quieter than if you stayed at home; maybe it’s retreating to your car for a moment, just to have some space away from whatever the day brings.
As you settle into your space, give a short prayer surrendering this time to God; welcoming Jesus’ Holy Spirit to use this space to do what He will within you and around you. From here, we meditate on the presence of God; sitting, standing, walking, in the glorious presence of God. Should you find yourself drifting to other things (to do lists, screams of children from another room, other chores or tasks that vie for your attention) use the following passage to draw your focus back into the presence of God:
“Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”— Psalm 46:10
“…it is not necessary for us to have any unexpected, extraordinary experiences while meditating. That can happen, but if it does not, this is not a sign that the period of meditation has been unprofitable. Not only at the beginning, but time and again a great inner dryness and lack of concern will make itself felt in us, a listlessness, even an inability to meditate. We must not get stuck in such experiences. Above all, we must not allow them to dissuade us from observing our period of meditation with great patience and fidelity. That is why it is not good for us to take too seriously the many bad experiences we have with ourselves during the time of meditation.” — Dietrich Bonehoffer
When you are finished, give thanks to God for this time. Know that He has done the work He wanted to accomplish in you for today and surrender everything else to Him.