Praying Mindfully

It was the perfect morning. “Why not thank God for this?” I thought. I closed my eyes and sat in the deck swing feeling the sun on my skin, smelling the Summer- tasting it, listening to the birds, the bugs, the trucks on the street and I thanked God.

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I imagined myself in His presence with all of His glory around me. As thoughts came into my mind I prayed about them and let them go. Back to God’s glory. The slow rock of the swing, the smell of the grass (I’m allergic to it but I can still marvel in it.) I praised God for being God and kept myself open and ready to practice unity with Him.

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As emotions came forward- as they always do in a mindfulness state- I acknowledged them, prayed about them and let them go back to the God who gave me emotions.

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True peace can be found in Jesus.

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I prayed purposefully for each person who came to mind, asking God to bless them and help them with their troubles. I prayed deeply for each of them and asked as if I was asking for myself.

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A person came to mind who I have been judging. I haven’t talked with her in a long while, I am angry with her. God weighed on my heart to forgive her and I saw my judgey mind balking at that. He showed me that praying for an offender could open my heart to empathy. I felt my heart soften just a bit.

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Forgiving someone can feel like we’re giving them a gift, but research shows that when we forgive we feel a decrease in depression, and in those unwanted emotions like hostility and anxiety. We feel an increase in hope and self-esteem, which sounds to me like when I forgive, I give myself some gifts too.

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So, I asked God to help me through my feelings of anger and disappointment. I don’t need to be a friend to her, I just need to forgive and move on.

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In praying mindfully, we go with the flow, open our hearts to what Wise Mind (God) wants us to hear. We sit at the foot of the Father and let Him lead us in prayer. I wasn’t even thinking about that girl who I could not forgive, but God decided to let me see it.
Jesus tells us to love our enemies but to hate evil, while not judging, but praying for those who do wrong. Practice lovingkindness.

“bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” Luke 6:28

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Being mindfully loving kind, according the DBT (Dialectic Behavior Therapy) is “saying a prayer for yourself or someone else… You actively send loving and kind wishes, and recite in your mind words and phrases that express good will toward yourself and others.”

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On my deck swing, I ask for forgiveness and accept it. In my prayers I used to search my soul for everything I did wrong, so I could ask for forgiveness for my sins. In praying mindfully, we commune with God and rather than going through a laundry list, we allow Him to show us things about ourselves. We contemplate what He shows us and appeal to His mercy, then we accept His forgiveness and move forward. We put the thing to rest because the God of all glory has forgiven us- it’s His promise in Christ Jesus.

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I look at myself, in this mindful prayer, the way God sees me. I am a joy to Him. He loves me unconditionally and I end my mindful prayer thanking Him for it.

“He reached down His hand from above me and held me.” Psalm 18:16
“He set me down in a safe place; He saved me to His delight; He took joy in me.” Psalm 18:19

 

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