Framing Life in Prayer
With Carrie Soukup
You can use this outline to remember the content of the video or you can look at it while you watch and take notes. Or, if you are in a big hurry to cut to the chase, read this first, then go back to the video at your leisure.
A time set apart to be with God
Not doing anything else
Time of transformation and conversion
Jesus spent time in meditation
Luke 6:12 “He departed to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God.”
His time in devoted prayer was extended during times before he embarked on a new step of his mission
We are on mission
We need the communication with God – his love and grace
We have a challenge to meditate every day
to skip this part of the day
Easy to push off
But it is essential
The mindset to begin with is to enter prayer in order to love God.
To know and be known. To love and be loved.
It is like a date – just time together.
Many other good things may come from meditation – (peace, understanding, relief, generosity, rest) but those wonderful goods are secondary to our purpose and intent to love. Of course, God knows our frailty and knows that sometimes we just come to him out of need – rather than some magnanimous decision to love him – and that is good too. We are his children and can certainly act like children in need.
How do you meditate?
There are many many many ways.
Here is a start:
Set a time
This is to make it a part of your life,
can be flexible
consistency in time will help to integrate it into your life
your intention to meet everyday is a gift to God
Set a place
when you enter this place, your mind and heart will more quickly enter into a mode of prayer
try creating a bit of ambiance – a candle, a bible, a beautiful window, a picture
Ask God to direct your time
Prayer from St. Jose Maria is very helpful:
My Lord and my God, I firmly believe that you are here; that you see me, that you hear me. I adore you with profound reverence; I beg your pardon of my sins, and the grace to make this time of prayer fruitful. My Immaculate Mother, Saint Joseph my father and lord, my guardian angel, intercede for me
Or, it can be a simple prayer from your heart
Content of your meditation:
Think, talk, love, listen to God about your life, the people you care about, and about God’s life and the people he cares about.
You can go through a bible study that someone has published, or do your own.
You can journal
Or just sit with God.
Often times the bulk of the “content”
Since meditation is about spending time together, God’s Word enables us to listen to him.
Many ways to read, study and meditate on the Word of God.
Read something from the bible. Read very slowly and take it in as you go.
Think about what you read. The possibilities here are endless.
Talk with Jesus about what you read – questions, concerns, ideas, hopes.
Contemplate. Allow God to share his own thoughts with you. Receive them as a gift.
St. Teresa of Avia
Keep God company
Just keep returning to that main goal.
Ignatian Scripture Reading
Enter in to a scripture passage with your imagination. Sense everything. Interact with Jesus.
This is especially helpful when reading the Gospels.
Conclusion of meditation
Pray in order to gather yourself, give thanks, share resolutions, go with God’s help
About 10 minutes is a good starting point
At first, only 10 minutes so that you can build consistency.
Sometimes in your life, you may do more than this.
A consistent 30 minutes every day is not unusual. However, you can always return to the 10 minutes. Time is not as rigid for God as it is for us.
Sometimes we need much longer
In order for our minds and hearts to settle, we may need much more than 10 minutes.
There is fruit beyond the initial time
Guilt about not praying
Some people feel guilty about not praying
Just be simple. Say you are sorry for what ever you are sorry about.
Guilt about praying
Some people feel guilty about taking time to pray
You have a right to prayer
It is your most basic right.
This goes to the essence of who you are.
Just do it.
Interruptions from within
There are lots of them.
Don’t worry about wandering thoughts.
Just turn back.
Interruptions from without
Put electronics away.
If a person interrupts you – use your judgement
Perhaps you allow them to be part of your meditation
Perhaps you have them wait
Perhaps it can’t wait and caring for that person becomes your meditation for the day.
Certainly we need to adjust and use judgement.
Enduring being blank is a prayer in itself
Your faithfulness is very valuable and precious in God’s eyes.
You may experience God being faithful to you
Creates a love that would not happen otherwise
Sometimes meditation is spent looking at the clock!
You will grow
Meditation brings about closeness, strength, peace, wisdom
God will meet with you!
Make a plan for 10 minutes of prayer tomorrow
See if you want to continue