5 Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
who, though he was in the form of God,
    did not regard equality with God
    as something to be exploited,
but emptied himself,
    taking the form of a slave,
    being born in human likeness.
 And being found in human form,
 he humbled himself
    and became obedient to the point of death—
    even death on a cross.                                                        

Philippians 2:5-8

Centering Prayer is not about:

  • It’s not about attaining a state of bliss, peace, or stillness.
  • It’s not about developing “single-pointed concentration.”
  • It’s not about establishing a steady “I am” or witnessing presence.
  • It’s not about reducing stress or improving physical or emotional wellness (although these are indeed common side effects).
  • It’s not about receiving messages from God.

“Basically, the method of Centering Prayer consists in learning to withdraw attention from our thoughts—those incessant creations of our busy minds—in order to rest in a gentle, open attentiveness to divine reality itself. This gentle releasing of thoughts is known in Centering Prayer teaching as “consenting to the presence and action of God.” It is not hard to do, but it’s hard—at first—to value.”

Cynthia Bourgeault

Simple Steps for Centering Prayer

1. Choose a sacred word as the symbol of your willingness to consent to God’s presence and action within.
2. Sitting comfortably and with eyes closed, settle briefly and silently introduce the sacred word as the symbol of your consent to God’s presence and action within.
3. When engaged with your thoughts, return ever so gently to the sacred word.
4. At the end of the prayer period, remain in silence with eyes closed for a couple of minutes.