Preparing for Prayer
1. Open to the guided meditation for the day.
2. Be aware that you are in the presence of the Living God, the One who beholds you with compassion and delight and
who is relentless in seeking to bless you with all that is good.
3. Ask for the Grace/Desire being sought: I want to know and long more deeply for the God who cherishes me and seeks to fill me with deep life.
Lord, mighty God, You offer me so much. You give me so many days and years, so many strengths and abilities, so many rich things and splendid technological devices, and You surround me with so many whom I love. Teach me this one thing above all, Lord: How I am to choose. Then I hope to return to You as many wonders as You have poured out on me.
During the period of prayer/Meditation
Now, enter into the guided meditation (below). You can do that in any number of ways, and nothing constrains you to do it one way rather than another.
One way that helps some people: Notice how each of the points presented moves youpositively or negatively. Jot them down and return to them for further consideration.
Another way that helps: simply spend time on those points that most move you. Using your imagination, explore what more might be revealed and speak to the Lord about what surfaces.
And a final way: Read over the points several times moving your lips. Let each of the points gently enter your mind, consideration and heart.
My life world offers me a welter of wonderful thingscareers, places to live, consumer goods, travel, various educations. After I have set my face against anything sinful, how will I decide which among them to go for?
I could choose in several ways. First, I could simply follow fad and fashion. Hankering after the latest clothes and activities and trips, I could do what everyone else is doing right now.
Or second, I could simply follow my own native taste. If I grew up loving open country, I could choose to live in a suburb simply be cause I prefer it and for no other reason. If my natural preferences lead me to pursue some profession, I could simply follow that lead, figuring that God would not make me hanker for something that would do me harm.
Or third, I could set some definite goal for myself, to bring me to transcend myself, reach fulfillment, and do some real good for others. For example, I could ambition being a federal judge or having total financial security or making some important discovery in genetics. Then I could aim everything toward that goal.
A fourth way would be more difficult. I could begin with the premise that I will never do anything to break my relationship with God my Lord, but will choose only what my conscience freely allows. Then I will wait to find out what God hopes for in me. To achieve this mind-set, I have to believe that I can know what God hopes in me, and I have to hope that I can find that out. I will also have to hold tremendously careful balance among all the welter of wonderful things that my life world offers me. I will not let myself get so stuck on any of them that it will incline me to this or that decision. That would mean that I would not follow the first or second way of choosingby doing what everyone is now doing, or by merely following my own native preferencesand not even the thirdby setting my own life goal for myself without asking God what my Creator wants in me. To put that another way: I would not try to tell God what will make me happy (that judgeship or a heap of money or a brilliant scientific career). I will wait to find out what God has been hoping in meand live confident that it will make me happy.
Of course, I cannot sit back and expect God to strike me the way God struck Paul of Tarsus. I have to pray, and consider, and take counsel with trusted friends. I have to attend to what the whole Church now engages in and hopes for, and what the official teachers (bishops and theologians in their own ways) are teaching. I have to try this or that and see how it goes. But I will always be hoping to find God desiring in me, God shaping my life world, God bringing the Reign to reality. I hope to find what God wants first, and then I will decide what I let myself want and what I will choose.
Holding this kind of indifference among God's almost infinite number of gifts makes a person a great force for good. What a power she is who does not much care where she lives as long as God's hopes are being realized! What a power he is who does not much care whether he lives wealthy or not, only as long as God's justice is being done! Such a person truly finds God in all thingsGod creating, God raising up justice and peace in all things, God working busily so that no one will be lost, but everyone brought to the Reign. ♦
Conclude the period of prayer
Have a simple conversation with God about what happened during the prayer, thanking God, asking that the grace/desire you prayed for continues to deepen throughout the day and week. You may consider using words similar to those in the prayer below. End with the Lords Prayer.