When my head hits the pillow each evening, my mind seems to jump into hyperdrive and thoughts begin to spin our of control. One way of approaching this dilemna is keeping a pad beside the bed for jotting down nuggets of wisdom and foolishness. This allows me to harness the power of my wandering mind and put it to some good use. I typically get blogging ideas while away from the computer, and this is one of the two places where they seem to come up.
But my wandering mind can be a problem when I’m trying to pray through my Divine Hours Prayer book. I open the page and barely make it through the first Psalm when my mind ends up at work, in town, in the yard, in the living room, etc. What gives? Why can’t I focus?
My new strategy is to use some simple prayer practices to calm myself. Julie has been taught how to do this and I learned it at a church near Doylestown, PA. While breathing in and then exhaling, you focus on God and open yourself to him. You can imagine that you are breathing out your cares and sins, while inhaling the Spirit of God, letting him fill you and have control. It’s not magic, and I can’t guarantee results or even “Your Best Life Now.” But anything we can do to calm ourselves, loosen up our tightly wound minds, and let God in will surely be of benefit to us spiritually and physically.
Some Christians are uncomfortable with such kinds of prayers, but I think it’s worth a shot. If you can find someone who knows something about contemplation or practicing God’s presence, ask them for some instruction. A book that has been helpful to me is Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ. Since the prayer time centers on scripture, it will go well with Christians who clutch tightly to their Bibles for devotional moments.