“Prayer is standing in the presence of God with the mind in the heart; that is, at that point of our being where there are no divisions or distinctions and where we are totally one. There God’s Spirit dwells and there the great encounter takes place. The heart speaks to heart, because there we stand before the face of the Lord, all-seeing, within us.”Henri J.M. Nouwen
This is an excerpt from Nouwen’s book, The Way of the Heart. How he breaks down the discipline of prater in this book has deeply impacted my prayer life. I think I’ve shared with you all in previous newsletter my centering prayer:
Rest and remain in the presence of the Lord and allow HIM to do the rest.
I must be honest in saying that I had to dig deep these past couple of weeks to allow this prayer to take up space in my heart again. Nouwen writes of how these “simple, easily repeated prayers can slowly empty out our crowded interior life and create the quiet space where we can dwell with God.”
I have found this to be true. Often God can feel so distant, but because I know the Holy Spirit dwells in me, I also know He is with me ALWAYS! As I’ve learned to repeat the words, rest and remain in the presence of the Lord and allow HIM to do the rest, I have found myself “standing before the face of the Lord.” I have found myself enveloped in the embrace of His arms. There, I have rested. There, I have remained. I am learning to extend grace to myself in the moments when I try to get up and do it in and of myself, because there my head and my heart are not alignment. When I truly rest and remain in the presence of the Lord, I am releasing that false sense of control. When I truly rest and remain, I can more clearly see how God is moving in a way that often brings hope necessary to keep on keeping on. God is always working and moving in spite of me, but when I rest and remain, I can more clearly see and appreciate more deeply the work HE is doing.
I would like to encourage you all to find your own centering prayer, or even use mine. Even more I’d like to encourage you to check out Henry Nouwen’s book. I promise you could finish it in a day or two depending on what type of reader you are. Haha! It is one that you’ll need to process, but one read through will definitely make you want to read it again. It’s one of those books you buy for someone else rather than lend it out. Haha! It’s a keeper for sure!
Oh, how I’ve missed y’all! I’m glad to be back in your inbox. I hope you’re doing well.
Hey, hey! I'm Yvette!
I'm a thirty-four year old wife, mother of four, podcast host, and writer from San Diego, California. I'm a former math teacher turned stay-at-home parent and influencer with the unique opportunity to bring women into community with one another and encourage them in their seasons of life through my podcast, Yvette, Unplugged and my online community, Women, Unplugged.
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