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Tuesday Night Spiritual Formation Program: Centering Prayer

Updated: Jun 10, 2022

Scripture Reading: Matthew 6:5-8

5. ‘And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward.

6. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

7. ‘When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words.

8. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

* Take a moment to reflect on the Word of God that is given us today. From the reading, is there a word or phrase that caught your attention today?

Instructions for Centering Prayer by Nathan Nakamura:

What is Centering Prayer?

  • It’s called “centering” because we’re centering ourselves on God.

  • During this “prayer”, we do NOT make our requests known to God because He already knows them.

  • Instead, we’re simply sitting in the presence of God; This is an acknowledgment that it’s not about what we do that matters to God but simply who we are to God.

  • It’s about simply sitting in the love of God who loves for who we are, not what we do.

So, How Do We Do It?

  • Find one word or a very short phrase that you can use to center yourself to back on God (e.g., Father, Jesus, Savior, Alpha & Omega)

  • During centering prayer, if you find yourself distracted, remember that it's OKAY to be distracted. Have compassion on yourself! Don’t beat yourself up!

  • Simply acknowledge those distracting thoughts, let them go, say your centering word, take a deep breath in, and say your centering word, and center yourself back on God.

  • Just enjoy His presence one more time.

  • But if you’re REALLY distracted by one thought, again, just acknowledge the thought, make a request to God, and take a deep breath in, say your centering word, and center yourself back on God again.

  • Do not evaluate your experience: When you first try this you may feel like it’s not doing any good. That’s okay. Do not evaluate your experience for your first time trying.

Please feel free to comment and share your experience below:

* If you feel comfortable sharing, what was your centering word? Why did you choose that word?

* How was your experience? What did you feel?

* When you got distracted, were you able to center yourself back on God? Was it hard or easy? Why?

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Diane Honda
Diane Honda
Mar 22, 2020

I chose the word Jesus and practiced this in my backyard. I felt God's presence in the overwhelming gratitude that I felt in being in such a place of God's beauty--now mind you my backyard is not landscaped beautifully but God's work and feeling his presence makes it beautiful.


Larry Honda
Larry Honda
Mar 18, 2020

Thank you for your lesson today, Nathan. I have used these methods in the past as a meditation exercise, but they become infinitely more useful as an opportunity to be with God. I especially like using this time to rest in God's acceptance of who we are. Other prayer times I am asking for God's help for me to do things or for Him to do things. I praise Him. I think this is all good, but God is sovereign and in control, so I can simply quietly rest in Him without a thought or care in the world. That is a joyful thing.

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