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    Women's Retreat Sierra Pines Church Oakhurst
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Sierra Pines Church

12 Ways to Turn Your Pain into Praise

Sapphires from Psalms

Better Than Jewels

I taught leadership class on Sunday and promised to re-post these STEPS TO MINDFUL MEDITATION and how they can help you as you try settle down and find God’s peace in your prayer time. Here they are with more explanation of each one.

1. As you open up your prayer time, focus on your breathing, either at the nostrils or the abdomen. Shut everything else out and pay attention to the Lord.

Isaiah 26:3, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You,” NKJV. As you breathe slowly and deeply...

2. Allow your body to relax and your mind will follow along.

Isaiah 30:15,“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength. But you will have none of it.”

Listen to this verse in The Message, “God, the Master, The Holy of Israel, has this solemn counsel: “Your salvation requires you to turn back to me and stop your silly efforts to save yourselves. Your strength will come from settling down in complete dependence on me—The very thing you’ve been unwilling to do.

Focusing on your breathing not only helps to calm your spirit and relax your body, it helps to quiet the noise in your head. Meditation experts explain that a relaxed body is “grounded.” Before we dismiss this as crazy-yoga-talk, lets look at this from a scientific perspective. When you’re tense, your body doesn’t rest comfortably. You’re ready to fight or flee, and your muscles lift you up slightly to prepare you for what’s ahead. You’re figuratively on your toes. When you’re relaxed, you rest firmly on the ground.  Breathing deeply helps you to become grounded.

As you continue to breathe deeply and relax, notice all the thoughts that crowd your mind, and

 3. Surrender each thought to the Lord. 1Peter 5:7 tells us to, “Cast your cares on him because he cares for you.” When a thought comes into your mind, let it go, and give it to God.    

THIS STEP IS SO IMPORTANT, THAT I HAVE TAKEN TO CALLING THIS ENTIRE EXERICISE LET-GO-AND-LET GOD MEDITATION.

It is the nature of our brains to run a mile a minute zoning in on everything from mortgages to mosquitoes.

If this step is difficult for you, don’t judge yourself harshly. Everyone has difficulty with this concept. It is because our brain refuses to shut off, that we need to spend time idling down in Mindful Meditation.

Be patient with yourself as you seek to let go of distracting thoughts, but be persistent in practicing letting those thoughts go. The more you do it, the easier it will become, and the more relaxed you will be. And the sooner you will feel the peace you are after in God’s presence.

Still, it is important to note that it is normal to be distracted every few breaths. The goal is not to eliminate all distractions and empty your mind, but it is to let go of stressful thoughts so that you can be alive in the moment you are in. 

Which brings us to

Step 4 of Mindful Meditation: Stay in the moment.

Matthew 6:34, The Message, “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”

Check out that last line, “when the time comes.” God gives us what we need when the time comes. Our job is to stay in the now and seek Him there.

Focusing on what is happening with you physically moves you to the present. Your body exists in the moment, so when you focus on your body, you connect with the moment. Many of us spend so much time pining away about the past or fretting about the future, that we miss the now, the place life is really happening.  We want to quiet our hearts to hear from God in this moment right in front of us.

Along with awareness, mindfulness involves acceptance

Step 5: Suspend judgment of yourself and your circumstances and accept the present moment just as it is.

Matthew 6:27, You cannot add any time to your life by worrying about it.”

Hebrew 4: 16,  So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most,”NLT. There it is again. God will help us when we need it, so we can relax and trust Him.

The Serenity prayer repeated so many times in recovery meetings or church gatherings is helpful here: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the WISDOM TO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE.

As we embrace the moment we’re in, and recognize it is all we have, a new acceptance of life as it is, not as we wish it was or worry that it will be emerges. This acceptance of life as it is, in the now and in the moment, precludes any harsh judgments of ourselves. As we quiet our hearts and rest in God’s presence, we are more able to embrace His thoughts about us rather than nursing and rehearsing our own stinkin’ thinkin.’

In the quiet of the present moment, absent of any judgment of ourselves, other people, or our circumstances, we can relax in God’s presence and breathe out our problems as we breathe in God’s peace.

I have added Step 6 because of everything God’s Word tells me about gratitude.

Step 6: Spend some time in God’s presence thanking Him for all He has done for you. It’s a game changer.

1Thessalonians 5:18,”Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Spend fifteen minutes everyday thanking God for all the blessings you have received and watch how it changes attitude, your relationships, your success, and even your physical body.

 

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