Spiritual Practices for Quiet Christians

“In the morning, while it was still very dark, [Jesus] got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed.”  Luke 1:35

As followers of Jesus, we are called to seek out a quiet place to reconnect with our Creator. Try these practices to center yourself in the stillness. 

BREATHING

Take this practice with you wherever you are. You can practice breathing with intention in your home or in the midst of a busy, people-packed day. 

Beginning the Practice

  • Begin to pay attention to your breath. As you do, notice how your breathing begins to slow down.
  • Inhale through your nose. 
  • Exhale through your mouth.
  • Pay attention for five minutes in the beginning.  Expand the time as you are able.

Deepening the Practice:  Box Breathing

  • Inhale for a count of 4. Hold for 4. 
  • Exhale for a count of 4. Hold for 4.
  • Repeat.  

A Prayer for Opening or Closing Your Practice:  Gracious God, at my beginning, you breathed into me the breath of life, so that I would become a living soul. I offer you my thanks for continuing to sustain me, day by day, with that breath of life. Help me remember how precious a gift it is, and give me an awareness and attentiveness to my breath throughout the day. Keep me from being so distracted with life’s activities that I forget the one activity that makes all the others possible. I ask this for the sake of your love. Amen.

More on the practice of conscious breathing

JOURNALING

Journaling can be a helpful spiritual practice that encourages deep reflection on the ways that our lives connect with the work of God.  Keeping a journal will be as individual as you are. Some ways to begin:

Find a quiet place.  Begin by recording the events of your day along with your feelings.  What were the highs and lows? What may God be trying to help you learn through them? Your writing may turn into prayer at times.  At other times, you may find yourself breaking into doodles, drawings, or poetry. Journaling regularly gives you the opportunity to begin to see helpful or damaging patterns and habits in your life, as well as windows to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. 

More on the practice of journaling

FINDING AND ESTABLISHING QUIET GROUND

Consider those spaces that allow you to quietly reflect on your life with God. Set up a quiet corner in your home.  Add a candle, a bible, and a book of two for meditative reading. Perhaps your preferred space is outdoors. Take a nature walk, unplug all your devices, and really pay attention to your surroundings.  use all of your senses to take in God’s creation. Get creative as you regularly seek locations that help you connect your spirit with the Spirit of God. Your Quiet Space may be a garden, a back patio, a library, or an art museum.  We will investigate how and where figures in the Bible did this, and how it helped them communicate with God.

A book you may enjoy:  Ordinary Place, Sacred Spaces by Sister Evelyn Mattern

MEDITATING

There are many ways to meditate. Christian meditation involves giving focused attention to God in order to listen to the “still, small voice” of the Spirit. It often involves words of Scripture but may include other springboards into silence and reflection.   

A basic introduction to meditation

More on the Christian practice of being attentive to God

Try this lovely guided meditation on the Light of God

A variety of creative ways to meditate, including meditating with art, music, and poetry, can be found at Explore Faith