And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
~ Matthew 6:5-8, KJV ~
There are three layers to cultivating mindful prayer (or prayerful mindfulness). The first is informal, mindful awareness throughout each day. Because God is fully present in each moment, simple awareness of our experience creates pathways to Him that support ceaseless prayer. The second layer is formal meditation. The silence and open stance of mindfulness meditation open us up further to awareness of God, softening our resistance to His voice. The third layer is the integration of Centering Prayer principles into our meditation. This includes an intentional awareness of God’s presence with us, just as we cultivate awareness of the other elements of our experience through mindfulness practice. These three layers serve to deepen and sustain our connection to God–to be branches that are abiding in the vine of God for love and sustenance in every moment that we are alive.
~ The Mindful Christian – Prayer (& Openness) ~
As Christians we are reminded of the most integral spiritual discipline of our faith. That is mindful and contemplative prayer. That which I pray for may not be what is best for me. I am only able to see only a little way, and my vision is clouded by present circumstances, daily happenings, and distractions.
If the problems I am to face seem beyond my ability to endure, I will not explain them to my Heavenly Father. He already knows. I will not tell Him what I expect Him to do regarding my difficulties; because he knows what is best for me.
When I am faced with something which it is beyond my power and ability to perform, to decide, or to cope with, I will not struggle with it by myself. I will ask Him to show me what steps to take. This is prayer: not to ask for anything except for His guidance and wisdom.
As I grow spiritually, true and mindful prayer becomes my confession of absolute dependence on my Heavenly Father. It is a vital contact with Him on a day-to-day basis in order to experience His presence from moment-to-moment. It is when I fully commit to mindful and meditative prayer where I truly find peace, receive personal revelation, wisdom and counsel to apply to those problems and difficulties I face.
Today’s prayer and meditation
Heavenly Father, during the Savior’s ministry – he taught his disciples how to pray. To first seek your will and kingdom. To provide strength and encouragement through temporal and spiritual nourishment. Seek forgiveness for myself and ability to move toward forgiving others. To always guide me along the path of righteousness and develop spiritual discernment to face temptation with strength, courage, and endurance. Recognizing your own Sovereign Power and Grace. Today, I seek your will and the wisdom to walk and experience your presence with each passing moment. You know what I face and stand in need of and submit my will and life over to your will. In Jesus Name, Amen
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