Wear comfortable clothing and sit in a position that allows you to feel supported and nourished for the duration of the session. Find the perfect meditation method for you. Concentrating on your breath will frequently lead you into quiet and to that hallowed state of conscious connection with God. Meditation can be as simple as focusing on your breathing or as complex as trying to visualize each of the bones in your body when thinking of them will help you concentrate better.
The type of meditation you choose should be something that feels right for you. If you are new to meditating, we recommend starting with something simple such as concentrating on your breath for five minutes once or twice per day. As you become more familiar with meditation, you can try other methods. There are many different techniques available. It is important not to judge yourself or your practice if you cannot achieve some kind of trance state during meditation. That is not a requirement nor an indication of failure. Accept yourself and your process without judgment.
There are two types of prayer vigils: open and closed. At an open prayer vigil, anyone can come and go as they please and share their prayers with others. You do not have to know the person sitting next to you or what they are asking for. Open prayer vigils are common at funerals and when sending prayers to a group of people.
At a closed prayer vigil, only specific people are invited to attend.
Methods of Meditative Prayer
(1) Draw Near To God With A Sincere Heart: Before getting dressed, getting the kids ready, getting on the road, or whatever other responsibilities we may have that morning, take some time to devote your thoughts to God with complete sincerity. Please pray that you will keep your focus on the act of worship. It is so easy during the day to get distracted by all that comes our way - emails to answer, bills to pay, children to care for. But if you want to offer a good sacrifice to God, you must first be willing to go before Him with a clean heart.
--Dr. John Maxwell
Prepare your heart for worship by drawing near to God in faith and honesty. Ask Him to reveal any hidden motives that would prevent you from giving Him undivided attention. Also, ask Him to give you strength when others try to distract you. Finally, commit yourself to walking with Him every day.
J. Herbert Kane
Preparation begins with a conscious decision to honor God with our lives. We make this decision by opening our hearts to Him and listening carefully to what He has to say. We also seek His guidance through prayer!
Here's a simple exercise I recommend: Hold your rosary with your right hand. Close your eyes, locate the cross or pendant, and take a calm, deliberate breath. Begin with an invitation or a prayer. "Come, Lord Jesus," "God quiet my spirit," "All shall be well," or the Lord's Prayer are all possible ways to begin. Repeat this phrase twice or three times. Then open your eyes and continue praying as you use the beads to count out loud.
This is a great way to practice your prayers while staying focused on God.
The first time I did this exercise, I felt like I was talking to myself! But after a few moments, I realized that I was actually communicating with God. The experience was so real that for a moment I stopped praying and just listened to come down from the clouds and be with me here on earth. From then on, I have loved practicing with prayer beads.
I hope you will give this exercise a try. Remember, it's not important what words you say; it's more important that you say them with faith.
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Continue to work on your prayers, and the group will develop and become stronger together. Allow for some improvisation. Because you want everyone to feel at ease praying, the meeting should be both flexible and deliberate. Create a welcoming environment for all who attend the meeting so that they can pray with all of their hearts and thoughts.
You should also continue to meet together regularly. Even if it's only once a week, go ahead and plan it into your schedule. The group needs time apart from one another to reflect on what has been said and done in the meeting. This helps them grow as individuals and gives them ideas about possible future topics for discussion.
Finally, be sure to follow up with each other after the meeting has ended. Send out an email or make a phone call to anyone who may have been absent that week. This shows that you are still interested in how they are doing and that there is no bad blood between members of the group.
These are just some suggestions, but we hope they will help you start having powerful prayer meetings. Please let us know if you have any other questions about this topic!
Dear God, when I lie down to sleep, ease the tension in my body, quiet the unrest in my mind, and silence the thoughts that concern and perplex me. Assist me in resting myself and all my concerns in your powerful and loving arms. Amen.
You can pray in any way that feels right to you. Some people like to write down their prayers and say them out loud, while others send messages through prayer letters or prayer cards. Whatever method you use, just make sure that you speak with God directly, and that you let him know exactly what you need.
God loves it when we come to him with our problems. Even if you feel like he already knows you are struggling, you should still talk to him about it. He wants to help us, but only when we allow him into our lives and give him control over our situations.
So, next time you go to bed at night, remember that it is a perfect time to talk to God. Tell him how you feel, ask for guidance, and let him know that you love him.
This prayer example was written by popular author Ann Voskamp. She has written several books including Ann's Guide to Prayer and Prayers from the Sisters of the Road.