Last Sunday, I led a time of centering prayer during the worship service at our church. The purpose was to help people become quiet and still so that they could hear from the Holy Spirit. During the time, I urged everyone to “stay in their hearts” as they prayed, rather than their heads. Afterwards, a young man made the comment that it was really scary to do that. He said, “It feels more comfortable to stay in your head, where you’re in control.”
Isn't that the truth. Most of us spend our days rushing around, coping with the demands of life by incessantly thinking about them. We split from our heart because it's not so manageable. It makes us feel and feelings aren't easy to control. In fact, sometimes the heart seems to have a "mind" of its own!
However, the heart is absolutely critical in order to live to our fullest capacity. It's the central place where we connect with God, our true selves and others. From our heart flows the energy and passion for life. (Proverbs 4:21) To "re-pair" suggests bringing back together two parts that have become separated. We desperately need to repair our heads and hearts. But how?
Try these three movements to help you live a more centered life from the heart:
You don’t have to stop completely or sit still for long periods. But you can’t repair your head and heart if you are hurrying. Slow down, become aware of your body and your heart beat.
Once you have calmed and quieted yourself, answer this question: I feel ________________. Use the most specific, exact words to describe your present emotional condition and express your feeling(s) to God. (Why focus on your feelings? Because feelings are the language through which your heart speaks. They tell you what is going on inside you.)
Listen and Receive
After you have named your feelings, ask if there is anything God wants to say to you. Listen from your heart. You may sense words, an image, or impression or just God's Presence. (If you hear something condemning or accusing, know that this is not God speaking. Refuse it and then turn back to God.) Receive in your heart whatever God gives you. Seal this gift through your prayer of response.