By Bo Prosser, CBF Ministries Coordinator
At a recent speaking engagement, Tony Campolo shared that he had begun a new ritual —praying only the name “Jesus” over and over! As you work on your spiritual self in the coming days, try this modification of a “personal lectio devina” prayer experience.
PLACE YOURSELF in a comfortable position; be still and silence yourself. Focus on your breathing, and as you inhale and exhale, simply pray the name of Jesus. Gently call upon Jesus, center yourself and allow yourself to live into the sacred space the Holy Spirit has provided for you.
THEN, TURN the name of Jesus over and over in your mind. Keep praying “Jesus, Jesus” in rhythm with your breathing. At some point offer yourself to Jesus, saying, “I am for you today.” Sit in silence, continuing to speak the name of Jesus prayerfully. Jesus softly, gently invites us deeper and deeper into God’s presence.
NEXT, SPEAK a name from the prayer calendar below as you pray to Jesus. As you inhale speak “Jesus,” and as you exhale speak the name of the one for whom you are praying. Slowly repeat these names, allowing yourself to intercede for the person you have chosen. Do not be afraid of distractions.
Your mind may wander. If so, simply repeat the name of Jesus again and again in rhythm with your breathing. Allow your inner thoughts to invite your heart into dialogue with God. Again ask God for intercession for the person you have chosen, for you and for our world.
FINALLY, SIMPLY rest in the embrace of Jesus, praying his name in rhythm with your breath. Rejoice that God has been with you in both words, thoughts and silence. Arise to walk with a sense of purpose and peace. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, there’s just something about that name…
The following column first appeared in the December-January 2013/2014 issue of fellowship! magazine. Download and share the PDF version of this column and prayer calendar from fellowship!