Here Are My Desires
Last night we started our journey into the practices of silence and centering prayer as a first step out of the noise of our rushed, over-scheduled lives and into communion with God. I don’t know about you, but the first couple segments of silence were a struggle for me as I tried to still my mind and my body. I had a hard time remembering the instructions for the Lectio through Matthew 11:28-30, caught up as I was in unrelated, distracting thoughts.
But as we continued, I began to imagine myself walking toward Jesus, wondering what I would say when he asked me, “What do you want me to do for you?” My mind engaged again and did what it does – churns, figures, concludes. I longed to turn off the analytics, tried to listen to the depths of my heart, tried to listen for what God might say. My mind finally relented and I found myself in His presence.
My answer came. My deep desire, the one below the surface, flickered just enough for me to name it: belonging. There it was. Belonging. Of course, there are a thousand ways my mind could analyze and critique and strategize a way to fulfill this desire. I am choosing a different way, though. I believe God is at the heart of this desire to belong, but I don’t always see him there and I don’t always seek him there.
So, this week, I am going to hold this desire before God. I will practice as we did last night. I will create space for silence in his presence and pray the very simple prayer, “Here.” By “here”, I will mean, “Father, here is my desire, my longing. I give it to you. I want it to compel me into your presence and draw me closer to you. Here.”
Would you join me in this practice of silence and prayer? Try setting aside 15 minutes three times this week to hold your desire in God’s presence. Using the sheet you wrote your desire on last night is a way to physically hold something. Or, you could write your desire on a stone and hold it in your palms. Or, simply open your hands. Then, pray the simple prayer, “Here.” When your mind starts to run, just say the word again to bring you back, “Here.” Then, just listen.
The music we played last night during the reflection time was O Magnum Mysterium, performed by the Nordic Chamber Choir in case it helps you.
Also, to learn more about contemplative and centering prayer, check out Open Mind, Open Heart by Thomas Keating.