Mom and I attend Centering Prayer at her church. Centering Prayer (also called Contemplative Prayer) is Christian meditation. For twenty minutes we still our minds and listen to whatever God has to say to us. It’s a great practice because so many times we just go to God with a laundry list of problems for Him to fix.
We even enter and exit the church quietly, not speaking, greeting with a silently raised hand. We find our seats, gaze a moment at the candle, then a chime signals the start. For me, the time spent in Centering Prayer simply flies by. It’s surprising every time when the finishing chime rings—it doesn’t feel like twenty minutes has passed.
I may have been hyperactive as a child. I’m pretty sure that my mom would say that I was. But in those days there was no diagnosis of hyperactivity and the cure was often a swat on the bottom. I think all that’s way better than a dose of Ritalin and making excuses for bad behavior.
Nevertheless, even an active person can get a lot out of Centering Prayer. Often, Jesus just invites me to listen to His heartbeat. He does have a lovely, strong and steady heartbeat that is very soothing. I once heard a sermon that Jesus’ body had been completely drained of blood on the cross. That caused me to wonder how He can have a heartbeat now. When I asked Him, He led me to listen to an online sermon telling what it is that has replaced the blood in His veins: Glory. The Glory of God had replaced the gory of man. The Glory in His veins is why Jesus shines like the sun, and why we won’t need the sun for light when He reigns on earth. I could listen to His heartbeat all day.
Recently, the morning after Centering Prayer at church, Mom came into my room and told me about her experience during the prayer. She said that a big pair of wings had wrapped around her shoulders from the back. She wondered aloud: “Do you think that God has wings?” I said, “Of course He does!” And I read her Psalm 91. Verse 4 says:
He will cover you with His feathers. He will shelter you with His wings.
She smiled and told me that the feeling of being sheltered under God’s wings has lasted. Yes, and sometimes the sound of Jesus’ heartbeat has lasted for me. As the day draws near when I once again head off to Italy, it’s so good to know that Mom is under God’s wings. I know that He’s looking out for all my family.
However and wherever you do it, you will never regret drawing near to God. Take a step toward Him and He will come closer to you, too. Then you’ll know for yourself what I always say is true: God is good!