Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, September 30, 2015
In the Beginning? Center on The Word.
The last day of September. My last day of Centering Prayer. My word of the day, my Name of God for today is Word. (As in, “The Word,” from the Gospel of John, chapter 1.)
I have always been strongly, deeply moved by this Name of God. (Or, preincarnate Name of the Son.) As I focused on The Word, John 1:1 kept running through my head.” In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
Surprisingly, I didn’t find myself focusing on the Logos, on the Greek word for The Word. Instead, I found myself centering on “the beginning” and then on before the beginning. What came before the beginning? What was here? (Or, there? Or, anywhere?)
I know, God was present before anything was created. And, I tend to gravitate towards images and imagery as well as sound. I thought of The Word being a spoken Word. And then, since I was contemplating “the beginning,” lo and behold! C.S. Lewis’s book The Magician’s Nephew popped into my head again, and the spoken Word morphed into Aslan singing the world containing Narnia into being!
How marvelous, actually seeing (in my mind’s eye, that is) the Creator of the heavens and the earth at work, creating the wonders and the glory of the worlds, and the solar systems, and the galaxies. Awe-inspiring does not even touch this.
And, that was what I centered on, today.
However, I am torn about finishing my month of Centering Prayer. Yes, relieved, since praying in this meditative way every day for a month was a huge stretch for me! (I am afraid I am not very good at this meditative style of prayer.) But, also partly unfulfilled. Or something. I am afraid I did not center or focus very well this month, at all. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being awful and 10 being stellar, I have the definite sense that I didn’t get much above a 3 on most days in September.
God, I’m sorry. I know You understand, but I’m still sorry. At least I was faithful, and I earnestly tried. I really did. And, thank You, Lord, for loving me anyhow, and listening to me as I pray. No matter what method I use or how I come before You.
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Ahh, the 3 prayer. I feel as if I spend much of my life there. Centering prayer is much more work for me than discursive prayer. Love the image of Aslan singing. Thank you!
Matt, you would not believe how challenging the month of October was to me, since I made the commitment to use Centering Prayer EVERY day of the month. I have done meditative prayer before, and been blessed by it. I’ve read through “Living in the Presence” by Tilden Edwards, and used this for prayer prompts for several periods in my prayer life in the past eleven or twelve years. Yes, Tilden Edwards is marvelous! But . . . but . . . meditative prayer is SO challenging. Sometimes, even plain difficult. And–I love Aslan so much, too. I think “The Magician’s Nephew” might be my favorite of the Narnian Chronicles.
I had aspirations of being a contemplative because it blesses me. But I can only stick with it when doing what you did: making ironclad and public commitments.
And, now for something completely different. (For real!) October is here. I am turning to the Oxford Book of Prayer, and praying with believers through the ages each day this month. Truly, something completely different. (Gotta change it up!)