This exercise falls into three parts:
- It may be helpful to use a cross, a candle, a flower, or some other focus.
- Breathe in slowly while praying, 'Fill me Holy Spirit’. Breathe out, praying, 'Cleanse me from my sin.' Do this several times.
- Acknowledge how you are feeling physically. Take note of any pain, irritation or discomfort. Notice the sounds around you. Acknowledge the thoughts in your mind; anxieties, things to remember, feelings of well-being or anticipation.
- Clench your hands with fingers downwards. Put into words (silently) the thoughts and concerns uppermost in your mind; a decision to be made, someone who is in trouble, a sick friend or relative, a difficult marriage relationship, etc. There is no need to go into detail - God already knows.
- Now lay these thoughts and cares, one by one, before God, and let them go. Drop them by opening your hands, palms down. It may require an effort - wipe your hands together if you need to, or shake them.
- Spend some time looking back perhaps at a recent encounter with a friend, perhaps the events of the day or the week. Try to limit yourself to two or three incidents.
- Reflect on your behaviour - be honest! Are there things you regret? Things you shouldn't have said? Things you feel you did well?
- Allow yourself to be led to repentance; to intercession; or to thanksgiving - share it with God.
- As you relate your behaviour and feelings in prayer allow yourself to become aware of God's forgiveness, His compassion, His delight in you.
- Be conscious of the nearness of God - in the breath you are breathing and in your silence. He has heard your prayer.
- Rest quietly in His presence; enjoy simply loving Him; enjoy the wonder of His love for you, His interest and concern for all that matters to you; His loving acceptance of all you are and will become.
- Finally, recall those things which you earlier laid at His feet. Open your hands, palms up, and receive them again, one by one, transformed and transfigured in His presence and love. And go on your way rejoicing!
(If time is short or a particular problem needs to be prayed over, use section 1 and then section *****)