Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Daddy-Daughter Dates Part 2: Meditation and Prayer

So in my last post, I explained what Daddy-Daughter Dates are and why I partake of them. This post I'm going to go into the specific aspects of my Daddy-Daughter Dates and the significance of them.

The first part of the date is Meditation
The purpose of meditation is to center myself and let go of the noise and stress around me so I can focus. It's kind of like the car ride to the restaurant. You have small talk with the guy and look forward to getting into a little deeper stuff.

Meditation for everyone is going to be a little different, but here's how I usually do it. I combine aspects of the Jesus Prayer (See this link as well) with things that I've found work for me. I'd recommend using a portion of scripture while you meditate.

I find a place that's quite and where I can sit comfortably without distractions. I shut down the computer, silence the cell and hide the iPod (It's kind of rude to be distracted during a date after all) then I get comfortable, close my eyes and begin to breathe deeply. I'll breathe in for four counts and then out for four. During this time I recite Psalm 117 first in Russian then in English and alternate the two. . If I'm really distracted and having a hard time focusing I'll start by reciting the scripture out loud and then as I become more focused, I'll change to mentally reciting it.

I'll recite one line inhaling and one exhaling. In: Praise God All People Out: Praise Him All Tribes In: His Love is Unfailing Out: His Faithfulness Endures Forever. Again, you can use whatever scripture or phrase that works for you.

Once I'm nice and focused meditation leads naturally to the next part of the date: Prayer
If meditation is the car ride, Prayer is dinner at the fancy restaurant.
The prayer is my time to talk with God. To tell him what's going on in my life and bring up my thoughts, concerns, feelings and ideas.

During the prayer time, I continue my breathing rhythm of four counts in and out, but now I pray in phrases as I exhale. In addition, the phrases are only as long as my exhale. For example: In... Out: God, guide my path In... Out: I don't know where to go.

Doing this gives the prayer itself a kind of chant like rhythm after a while. If you're comfortable you can say it out loud, usually at this point though I'm more focused inwardly and saying it out loud would feel uncomfortable.

The prayer goes on as long as it needs to, generally until I feel like I've covered everything. After the "amen," I again recite Psalm 117 in Russian and English. This time I say the lines on the exhale like I did with the prayer. When I'm finished, I open my eyes and am ready for the next part which is scripture reading and journaling.

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