There is a song in our hymnal that begins: “When the storms of life are raging, stand by me. When the world is tossing me, like a ship upon the sea, thou who rulest wind and water, stand by me.” (Chalice Hymnal 629)
How do we remain calm and able to respond in faith instead of fear “when the storms of life are raging”? It is easy to say Christ is with us. And that is true. But how can we be aware of that presence and tap into its power at all times, but especially when we feel threatened?
Throughout Christianity there have been certain practices of the faith that are meant to build our spiritual muscles. It’s not that we “get” something from them each time we do them. Maybe we do, maybe we don’t. But just like exercise, we do it anyway because it helps build stamina and muscle and health.
One practice I want to highlight today is Centering Prayer. Often when we think of prayer (and be clear, I want to encourage you to pray often) we think of offering our cares and concerns to God. And so we think or say those concerns and try to think of all of them that we have and invite God’s response and wisdom or healing. But with Centering Prayer, we do just the opposite, which is precisely what builds our spiritual calm in the storm. In Centering Prayer, we quiet our body and our mind and try to not pay attention to our thoughts or concerns or cares. In Centering Prayer, we try to be in that moment, completely with God and to be in tune what God might say to us without our intervention of thoughts and desires and wishes.If you would ever like to learn more about Centering Prayer, Darla Ewalt leads a Centering Prayer group at 7:00pm on Tuesdays and 5:15pm on Thursdays each week. I know she would welcome your questions and your presence. You can try it for a period of time and just see if it might be a meaningful spiritual practice for you.