Theme: Prayer and Meditation: be Persistent!
Luke 18:1-8 And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’”
1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing,
Mark 11:24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
Jeremiah 33:3 Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.
Prayer and meditation can go hand in hand. Simply put, prayer is an act of talking or asking and meditation is an act of listening and being silent.
Young children can be introduced to meditation. And while it may take them awhile to “quiet” themselves and find inner peace and the feeling of great love and compassion for all that can come from meditation, the practice of mediation can help children focus on their own thoughts in a positive way or light.
Fred, put your hand on your chest.
Can you feel your heart beat?
But you know your heart is there inside you, right?
Even though you can’t see it?
Well, guess what?
There is something else inside of you that you can’t see but it is there.
Yes, I know, my brain, my bones and stuffing!
Yes, you’re right. But this is very different. It’s a bright white light.
A light? You mean like a light bulb?
Yes, but a light without the bulb, just the light.
Well, what does this light without the bulb do?
Some people say that the light is your ‘God Light,’ like God inside you.
Ah, I don’t think there is enough room inside me for God to fit.
No silly, it’s like a small piece of God inside you.
Well, I still don’t understand what this light is for.
I am not sure either. My mom says that knowing what the light is for is something that everyone has to find out for themselves.
But she did tell me that when you are happy and feel good about yourself and are helping others, the light inside you is very, very bright.
But when you are sad and don’t take care of your body and you are not nice to other people, the light is very dim.
Well how do I find out what the purpose of this light is?
My mom says, by meditating.
What is meditating?
It’s like praying, but you don’t say anything. She says you let God do the talking.
Activity: a meditation technique for children.
Instructions to the class:
[Step one of a three-step process.]
Sit on the floor with your legs folded or on a chair.
Sit up straight with your head and eyes looking forward.
Put your hands together on your lap.
Close your eyes.
Think about someone or a pet that you love. It might be your mom or dad, or you sister or brother, or your best friend, or a pet.
God is love. So when you think about someone you love, you will also feel closer to God.
Now, when you see that person in your mind, talk (in your mind, not with your mouth) to that person. You may want to tell them about what a good time you had with them yesterday. Or, you may want to tell them that you love them.
Meditation is a good thing to do when you are lonely or afraid or have a big problem you need help figuring out.
So, you might want to talk in your mind to a person that you think could help you. Or you may want to ask God to help you. So, you can say a prayer asking God to help you.
Stay in the same position with your back straight and your eyes closed.
Open your hands and put them on your lap with palms (the inside of your hands) facing up.
Now, stop thinking about or talking to the person you love. Stop praying if you were praying. Relax. Keep your eyes closed and try no to think about anything.
This is the most special part of meditation but it is also the hardest part, because it is very difficult to not think about anything. Thoughts and pictures keep entering your mind.
That’s OK. Just relax and watch the thoughts come and go. If a thought enters your mind, don’t think about it, just watch it come and go; let another thought replace it and so on.
With practice, eventually these thoughts that come and go will be like background noise that you don’t pay attention to. Eventually you will be able to still or quiet your mind and fewer and fewer random thoughts will enter your mind.
During this second stage of meditation, instead of asking God for something or help, it is time to listen to God. You won’t hear God talking to you, instead you will feel God’s presence like a warm feeling all over your body. You will feel very relaxed and safe.
This listening time is also a time when some of your best ideas will come to. Or, you may remember something that you forget to do.
When you are ready to stop meditating, put your hands together again and keep your eyes closed.
Now imagine that the clothes you are wearing are all white. Imagine that you are glowing white, just like a light bulb. You are surrounded by white light.
This white light is love.