Monday – “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
Place & Posture
Find the place which is right for you. A place where you feel comfortable, with little or no distraction. The best posture is that which helps you to be both attentive and relaxed at the same time.
Opening to God It is a bit like sunbathing! When you sunbathe, you take off your clothes to let the sun get to you and warm you. So, in prayer, you open yourself to the light of God, that God may bathe you in light and warm you with rays of love.
Prayer is God’s gift to us.
Our part is to be actively receptive. “I hold myself in quiet and silence, like a little child in its mother’s arms, like a little child, so I keep myself.” Psalm 131:2
Some suggestions for becoming relaxed and attentive:
Awareness of the Body: Concentrate your attention on what you can feel. Begin with the crown of your head and work your way down through your body to your toes. Allow time (a few seconds) for feelings in each part of your body to become apparent. Become aware of any sensation at the crown of your head, then your forehead, face, the back of your neck… Notice any feelings in your shoulders, arms, hands… your back, chest, stomach… Become aware of any sensation in your legs, ankles, feet, toes…
Become aware of the touch of clothes, your body touching the chair, the floor… Recognise God’s presence in your body, in your feelings, in you as a person.
“In God I live and move and have my being.” Acts 17:28
Awareness of Sounds: Listen to the sounds around you. Try to identify each one.
Do not rush or strain. Concentrate your attention wholly on each sound. Recognise God’s presence in the sounds…
“And after the fire there came a still small voice.” 1 Kings 19:12
Awareness of Breathing: Turn your attention to your breathing… Listen to the sound of your breath… Do not deliberately change your breathing, simply be aware that you are breathing! Be aware of breathing in… breathing out… notice how this feels. Be aware of sensations in your nostrils… the rise and fall of your chest…
To turn this into more explicit prayer, let your in-breath be a breathing in of the goodness and love of God, and your out-breath be a breathing out of all your worries, guilt, and anxiety. You could try touching a stone, a shell, rosary beads, a crucifix… listening to music.
These exercises can be ways of relaxing into prayer.
Or they can be, in themselves, a still, attentive prayer of loving presence to God.