Centering Prayer & Devotional

Centering Prayer * St. James' Episcopal Church

The Welcoming Prayer for Healing – Centering Prayer (Please gently become aware of your interior state, and repeat this prayer.)

God, I welcome everything that comes to me in this moment.

God, I know it is for my healing.

God, I welcome all thoughts, and emotions.

God, I let go of my desire for control. God, I let go of my desire for approval.

God, I let go of my desire to change people.

God, I open myself to your love.

God, I open myself to your healing grace.

Now we will slowly breathe in through our nose, and then slowly breathe out through our mouths as we repeat one word, “Amen”, 3 times, while we refocus ourselves in our New Supernatural Reality Jesus: Amen. Amen. Amen.

Confession:

The life we enjoy in You came as a free gift, but we play make believe that we can pay You back, as if that is something that You asked for or is even possible. We have turned Your gift into a transaction and fall back toward the grave from which we were freely saved. But in Your grace, we fall only to find that the grave was closed at Jesus’ resurrection. Forgive us for striving to repay Your gift of life that was earned for us on the cross. Being saved and accepted through Your free gift, let us go on following Jesus and overflowing with gratitude. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Bible Reading & Devotional:

DAILY MEDITATION: MATTHEW 10:34–11:1

Do not think that I have come to bring peace. (Matthew 10:34)

Doesn’t Jesus want us to get along? That’s a fair question, given today’s Gospel. His words can sound so harsh. Does he really want us to become enemies with people in our own household?

No. But while Jesus doesn’t want us going around causing trouble, he does want us to know that there are times when following him may result in conflict with loved ones.

According to the Fathers of Vatican II, family is supposed to be “the domestic church,” the place where faith is taught and encouraged to grow (Lumen Gentium, 11). But we all have family members—either close or distant—whose religious beliefs and moral expectations are different from ours. So if we are actively trying to follow Jesus, it’s no surprise that we sometimes meet with some resistance in our homes.

Many of the Church’s greatest saints experienced this. St. Catherine of Siena, for instance, resisted her parents’ efforts to make her marry. St. Thomas Aquinas’ family locked him in a tower and hired a prostitute to tempt him. St. Clare of Assisi ran away from home to join St. Francis and refused her parents’ attempts to bring her back. But none of these heroes of the faith lashed out or sought vengeance. They tried their best to love and forgive.

Jesus never says that we shouldn’t love our family. In fact, some of our conflicts may well be the result of our own pride or lack of love. But when we center our lives around Jesus and make serving him our top priority, he promises that we’ll be able to love our family members better! We’ll become more forgiving, more understanding, and more patient when conflicts arise.

It’s not always easy to live together in peace. Sometimes we cause the conflicts, and at other times we don’t. But if you are trying to follow Jesus, he will find a way to bring good out of any situation. So pray for your own faith and for the faith of your loved ones, and trust that with God, all things are possible. Even acceptance, change, conversion, and reconciliation!

“Jesus, help me to stay true to your law of love.”

Conclude with 5 Minutes of Silent Prayer

The Our Father (slowly pray this)
Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever, Amen.

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