Dear Friends in Christ,
“Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him…” (Psalm 37:7a)
It is good to be back in Ohio, after time away in Houston, Texas, for the National Youth Gathering. I will write more about the Gathering in the weeks to come.
On Friday, June 29, the students and adult leaders from Northwestern Ohio, experienced an Interactive Day at the NRG Conference Center. Synodical Bishops were assigned 4 duties on Interactive Day:
- Two Hours at the Book of Faith Bible Study Section Talking with Folks about the Importance of Scripture
- Two Hours at the Interactive Prayer Area Offering Prayers and Conversation.
- Two Hours Offering Shuttle Rides on an 8 Passenger Golf Cart (This was a blast!)
- Two Hours Walking Around and Mingling with Students and Adult Leaders
While in the Interactive Prayer Area, I prayed with an adult leader, and we began a conversation about the importance of daily prayer and corporate prayer. She is trying to begin a prayer ministry in the parish she serves and asked me if I knew anything about Centering Prayer. We spent the next hour sharing our experiences with prayer mentors, prayer resources, and the gift of Centering Prayer. It was a delightful and prayerful conversation.
Cheryl Sondergeld serves on the staff of the Northwestern Ohio Synod as our Program Assistant for Mission Advancement. She is also our resident “centering pray-er”. At one of our prayer retreats, Cheryl walked us through the practice of centering prayer and introduced us to an “app” that I have used in my morning prayers. It is simply called “Centering Prayer”, by Contemplative Outreach Ltd. It is available for Apple and Android devices, and it is free. The icon of the “app” looks like this:
When you open the “app” you can read “The Four Guidelines to Centering Prayer”. Choose a duration of time to enter into Centering Prayer (I would suggest that you begin with no more than 5 minutes), and then simply, “Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him…” (Psalm 37:7a). Centering Prayer has been an important part of my morning prayer discipline, and I would encourage you to download the “app” and explore God’s gift of Centering Prayer.
If you feel called to dig a bit deeper click on the link below and explore the Contemplative Outreach website. Click on Centering Prayer and check out the additional videos and resources.
If you sense that God is calling you to dig even deeper pick up and read the classic work on Centering Prayer called Finding Grace at the Center: The Beginning of Centering Prayer by M. Basil Pennington and Thomas Keating. It is a short book and I am working through the most recent edition and have rediscovered how life giving it is to “Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him…” (Psalm 37:7a).
Click on the link below to pick up a copy of Finding Grace at the Center: The Beginning of Centering Prayer.