OA­SIS OF PEACE

Six steps of med­i­ta­tive prayer

Activated - - FRONT PAGE -

Step 1:

Choose an ap­pro­pri­ate lo­ca­tion. Most peo­ple find that med­i­ta­tion is best in quiet, un­clut­tered sur­round­ings, ide­ally away from where they work or spend most of their wak­ing hours. A se­cluded spot out­side can be es­pe­cially con­ducive. Fresh air not only re­news us phys­i­cally, but it also helps to il­lus­trate how God's Spirit can clear our minds and spir­its.

Step 2:

Take time to wind down. It's nearly impossible to im­me­di­ately go from the af­fairs of a busy day into a state of deep med­i­ta­tive prayer. Some­times it helps to spend a few min­utes on a tran­si­tional ac­tiv­ity to phase out the material world, such as lis­ten­ing to sooth­ing mu­sic, tak­ing a short walk, or breath­ing deeply. As you try dif­fer­ent things, you'll find what works best for you.

Step 3:

Leave your cares at His feet. If prob­lems are dis­tract­ing you and weigh­ing you down, they'll hin­der the peace you could re­ceive through med­i­ta­tion. Take a minute or two (or as long as you like) to give your present cares to Jesus in prayer. Be spe­cific. De­scribe to Him what is trou­bling you, and ask Him to lift and bear it. Fo­cus on God's abil­ity to bring solutions, rather than on the prob­lems them­selves. “Be anx­ious for noth­ing, but in ev­ery­thing by prayer and sup­pli­ca­tion, with thanks­giv­ing, let your re­quests be made known to God.”

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Step 4:

Get re­laxed. Sev­eral min­utes of gen­tle stretches and deep breath­ing, fol­lowed by a re­lax­ation ex­er­cise (con­cen­trate on re­lax­ing your face and neck, then your en­tire body, part by part), can help. If you're feel­ing es­pe­cially tense, a shower or a bath or a short walk in na­ture might help you re­lax. Or if you're very tired, a nap may be just the thing, be­cause if you're ex­hausted, you may not ben­e­fit as much from your time of med­i­ta­tion.

Step 5:

Se­lect a com­fort­able po­si­tion. In med­i­ta­tion, the po­si­tion of your spirit mat­ters much more than the po­si­tion of your body. You don't have to sit a cer­tain way—or even sit, for that mat­ter— ex­cept of course you should be com­fort­able, so you can more eas­ily fo­cus your thoughts and mind.

Step 6:

Med­i­tate. You've found an ap­pro­pri­ate spot and wound down phys­i­cally. You've put your prob­lems and cares into Jesus' very ca­pa­ble hands. You've dis­con­nected from the af­fairs of the day and are re­laxed and com­fort­able. Now you're ready to be­gin a time of med­i­ta­tion.

You might choose to fo­cus on Jesus Him­self, think­ing about one of His at­tributes, or on some spe­cial bless­ing He has brought into your life. A spe­cific thought from God's Word can also be a sub­ject for med­i­ta­tion. Read­ing a pas­sage from the Bible, one of the “From Jesus with Love” mes­sages that are on the back page of each is­sue of Activated, or some other short de­vo­tional material may help get you started. For more med­i­ta­tion ideas, see the “Spir­i­tual Ex­er­cise” col­umns avail­able on the Activated web­site.

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Peace on the out­side comes from know­ing Jesus on the in­side. You can do that by sim­ply invit­ing Him into your heart:

Dear Jesus, I want to know You and en­joy Your peace. Please come into my life, give me Your peace, and help me get to know You bet­ter and grow in the Holy Spirit and the knowl­edge of Your Word. Amen.

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