5 Techniques to Connect With God Through Mindfulness in Prayer

Prayer can often feel like a rote practice, something we do at meals or before bed. Familiar words can roll off our tongues with very little thought attached to them. But did you know that mindfulness in prayer is an important aspect of faith?

Different meditation techniques can help us center ourselves and connect with God in moments of stress and anxiety. God is the creator of prayer and meditation, and He encourages its practice throughout scripture.

In Matthew 6:7 (ESV), Jesus tells us, “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases.” God wants us to be centered and focused as we pray. Here are five techniques you can use to connect with God through mindful prayer.

Pray Through Scripture

One way to stay focused in prayer is to use scripture as your guide. Choose a passage and read one verse at a time, pausing to turn it into a prayer. This will encourage you to slow down, be intentional with your words, and keep your prayers focused on who God is and what He says.

You can also use liturgical prayer books to guide your meditation. Many of them have prayers specifically dedicated to certain circumstances. Reading the truth of God’s Word and promises as you pray can calm your heart and mind in tense situations.

Prepare Your Space

Choose a place with minimal distractions for your prayer time. Place a pillow on the floor next to your bed and kneel. Go out into your yard or garden. Select a specific chair or desk in your home. Do what works for you, but it helps to choose a space that is set apart or special for focused prayer.

You might even want to go out into nature where you can be alone, in silence, without distractions. A park, trail, botanical garden, or waterway might inspire you.

A change of scenery can help remove us from our worries and recenter our hearts and minds on what is true. Jesus often went into nature or sought solitude to recenter himself.

Even the time of day you pray can impact the overall feeling of the experience.

Prepare Your Body

If you are tense, busy or uncomfortable, your prayer time could be interrupted or less peaceful. Take time to stretch, drink a glass of water, take deep breaths, relax your shoulders, and prepare yourself so you can keep your mind on the Lord during prayer.

You can even use calming lotions with lavender, chamomile, lemon balm, or other scents to increase your physical peacefulness and focus.

God has designed many methods of stress relief for our bodies. Take advantage of these to increase your mindfulness as you pray. Consider the woman who poured out perfume, along with her tears, on Jesus’ feet as her act of worship.

Create Rituals

Did you know that rituals help create habits? They signal to us what is supposed to happen at a given time. You can create unique and special rituals that only occur prior to your prayer time.

You could light a candle, prepare a warm beverage, open a window or turn on light instrumental music in the background.

These moments of intentional beauty signal to your mind that it is time to meditate on the things of the Lord rather than the anxieties of the world. It’s a way of saying, “The words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:14, ESV).

Write it Down

Do you use a journal to write your prayers? Journaling can help you focus and define your needs more specifically. Sometimes, getting our fears and anxieties out of our minds and onto paper can lessen their intensity and put things into perspective.

The practice of choosing your words carefully as you write can enhance your focus and feelings of control. If images are more your thing, try drawing or painting your prayers in a way that expresses your thoughts and emotions.

Breathe, Pray, Repeat

Before the fall, God walked with Adam and Eve in the garden. Mindfulness in our prayers can help us walk with God in the garden of our minds and hearts.

We can prepare a mental or physical space of peace and beauty, much like Eden, to enhance our focus and remove the worries that fight to exile us from the garden.

Now, it’s time to put all of this into action. Are you ready? Breathe, pray, repeat.

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