A Christ-centered meditation and prayer practice gives us the opportunity to surrender our soul to God’s Spirit. The goal is to know Christ and become more like Him. In so doing, we receive the same power that was given to Jesus. We merge with and connect to all of the virtues of God, one of which is self-control. The ability to control our soul — our mind, emotions, and desires — helps us to reduce the pain and suffering we experience in our lifetime.
Using Christ-centered meditation and prayer, we establish a new pathway leading directly to our heart, where God is dwelling. Meditating, praying, and receiving new life, like Jesus, helps us to increase the flow of love and compassion toward ourselves because “God is love.” (1 Jn. 4:8) As these powerful energies inside of us grow, they begin to overflow out toward others. When we make the effort to connect to God, we can reflect on who God is. This benefits and improves the world.
Unlike Eastern meditation, which focuses on emptying the self, becoming “one” with universal energy, and is “me” focused, Christ-centered meditation is a practice of connecting to the Light, Life, and Love of Christ, who lives in our heart. When we meditate with Christ, we create greater intimacy with Him. We become filled with all that He is as we receive and cultivate all of His virtues and power. “Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.” (Eph. 3:17).
Through Christ-centered meditation, through this devotional spiritual practice, we become more like Christ, and less like “me.” When we can surrender our soul, we can hear the voice of God, and we will be directed to help improve the lives of others, notwithstanding all the rewards we personally reap. Here are a few of the benefits that we stand to gain from daily practice.
The Ability to Surrender to a Higher Power
This is not something many people do naturally. We don’t readily raise the white flag and declare “I surrender,” for it may make us feel as if we failed or that we’re weak. Humiliation and shame are at the bottom of the list of feelings we desire to experience. We avoid these feelings as if our life depends on it. We think if we let ourselves have these feelings, we might just die.
How clever God is, for that’s precisely what He asks us to do. We’re to die to ourselves so that we can live through Him.
What a strange yet utmost powerful request to make of His creation. In my mind, I hear God say, “I give you life, and you are free. I give you free will and the ability to choose your own path. But I make it clear that to have more life, you must surrender your life to me.”
Jesus says, “He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matt. 10:39). Jesus also tells us, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” (Matt. 16:24)
In a world full of self-obsession — selfies, self-help, and self-exploration — Jesus says, “deny yourself.” His disciple Paul says it like this: “The mind governed by the flesh [body and soul] is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.” (Rom. 8:6)
Christ-centered meditation and prayer is a spiritual discipline of surrendering our body and soul to God’s Spirit and establishing Christ as our constant companion. Through Christ-centered meditation, we begin to see that being connected to Christ adds good things to our inner and outer lives. That, in turn, heals and helps us. By admitting our weakness and desire for more inner power, we’re strengthened through Christ.
We don’t lose control; we gain self-control. We don’t lose power; we gain access to a Higher Power. God works everything out if we let Him. We can rest in stillness and prayer instead of anxiously trying to solve all of our problems on our own. We learn to talk vulnerably and honestly with Him. We confess where we’re weak and need help. We ask for things we desire, and as promised, we’re given the help we need and our heart’s desires.
When we call on God, He meets us with a natural flow of clarity and new life. Grace flows in, and we let go of the need to control as we see and perceive His hand doling out good things, reshuffling our lives, and working on everyone’s behalf.
We learn to go beyond the limited thoughts in our mind and into dwelling in the limitless abundance of God and His many blessings. We begin to live within the sacred realm of the Kingdom of heaven, where we trust that all things brought to us are for our good. We establish within our body an internal equilibrium, a powerful force that’s for us, and in us.
Christ-centered meditation and prayer help us to honor our inner turmoil. Christ said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (Jn. 14:27)
Wellbeing comes from an ability to accept all that we experience, and the full range of thoughts, feelings, and desires without judging them or having a strong reaction. Look at Jesus. He moved forward in a wise and peaceful way, grateful, non-judgmental, forgiving, thankful, and surrendered to God’s Will. He was consciously connected to a Higher Power, a force that helps us to stay centered in love and to overcome the challenges we may face daily.
He didn’t try to escape his suffering, and he didn’t try to numb it either. He accepted that He had thoughts about it, emotions around it, and desires that every human would experience. “Jesus wept.” (John 11:35) Yet, He continued to trust in the still small voice of God leading him to His divine destiny.
And here is the power source, the Will and voice of God. In Christ-centered meditation and prayer, we go to a quiet place and spend time with God. We develop a relationship with Him, learn to quiet our soul, hear His guidance, and become strengthened in our inner being. “I pray out of his glorious riches that he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being.” (Eph. 3:16)
Jesus stayed connected to His power source. He surrendered to the Will, the guidance, the wisdom, and the help of God. We can learn to do that, too. In doing so, we can hear the voice of God helping us and bringing us to a place of peace and power. Without peace, there’s no power.
In Christ-centered meditation, we not only get to know God, but we also get to know ourselves. Self-control literally means control over our “selves,” the self which is the same as the soul. We can learn how to have more control over our inner life when we get to know our soul inside of our body.
The Bible says we’re a spirit, we have a soul, and we live in a body. The body is the temple of our soul, human spirit, and God’s Spirit. When we hold the body still and go inside, we find our soul, which includes our mind, emotions, and (free) will.
Everyone’s soul is unique. Therefore, all journeys to self/soul actualization or the realization of one’s own true nature will be different for everyone. This is a beautiful gift of authenticity. Each of us has a unique destiny that’s assigned to our soul’s journey.
We can learn as Jesus did to have acceptance and become non-judgmental toward the instability and suffering in our soul. This is the part of us that gets triggered during stressful times and is also where trauma is stored. We can learn to surrender the soul to God’s Spirit where we receive understanding and unconditional love. The soul is always changing; thoughts change, emotions change, and desires change, but the Spirit of Christ remains the same — stable, wise, loving, creative, and peaceful beyond our imagination.
It’s from here, the place of stability, that we find an ability to control the self. We do this through listening to the wisdom of Christ and not reacting to every thought, emotion, or desire. We watch from the eyes in our heart, and we don’t react. We learn to be patient while He guides us on the right path for our soul’s sake. We learn as we practice inner self-control that God is at work providing for us what we need in our heart and out in the world. We can let go of needing to control our outer world.
Reduced Pain and Suffering
Science shows a meditation practice is good for pain reduction. This includes physical as well as psychological distress. The mere act of paying attention and observing our pain with compassion helps us form a friendly relationship with the pain. Accepting that we’re in pain is the first step toward healing.
When we bring in Christ the Healer, we bring to our physical, mental, or emotional pain new levels of unconditional love, affording us the ability to look deeper into the pain to see if there’s a truth that needs to be revealed or a lie that needs to be let go of. Christ’s Spirit is the Light and Wisdom of God and can guide us into an illuminated healing path of purification and sanctification.
Bringing the Light of Christ to any pain in our body can dispel the darkness in and around that pain. Dispel means to make disappear. When we sit in meditation with Christ, we sense His Light, and we shine it on our inner parts. The Spirit of Christ is connected to the spirit of the human. Proverbs 20:27 says, “The spirit of man is the lamp of the LORD searching all his innermost parts.” The Lord’s Light penetrates the human spirit, bringing healing and transformation to all of our innermost parts.
We learn to find a quiet place at the center of our being. When we do, we can rest. Meditation helps us to reach that eternal center, a place of green pastures and living water. Even during times of distress, we can turn to an interior authority, yet remain in our personal truth. This gives us the ability to go beyond our pain to the healing Light of Christ.
In the blog, “Bibles for America,” Witness Lee puts it this way: “Getting away from life’s hustle and bustle to have private time with the Lord isn’t optional; our spiritual lives depend on it. Without it, our spiritual life will eventually dry up.”
This spiritual time helps us build a stronger spirit. Christ’s Light grows and helps us to keep our heart cleansed, purified, and strong, leading to less pain and emotional toxicity in our body. We become free to have an open heart, allowing us to move and flow through life with more ease and less dis-ease.
Using Christ-centered meditation, we learn to stay deeply connected to God’s Spirit so we can hear His Will and receive His Power. When we’re deeply connected to God, we become an open, empty, and willing vessel. Like Jesus said, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matt 6:10) That’s because we’ve learned to trust in Him as He makes us into better humans and leads us into better situations.
By connecting to God’s Spirit, He can lead us into an exciting life of authenticity and individual purpose. It’s a journey into one’s self and away from being selfish at the same time. This journey allows us to know our unique soul and to know God so that we can have a spiritual experience capable of bringing us new levels of awareness and consciousness. We can connect to the mind and heart of Christ, become peacemakers, help others, and while on this Earth, find the Kingdom of Heaven.
A Christ-centered meditation and prayer practice healed me from an anxiety disorder and turned my life into an abundant, authentic, and blessed life. I still meditate and pray daily, and every day, I’m saved from harm and consistently brought back into the Light, Life, and Love of Christ. I’m not unique. God’s grace is available to everyone.
If you would like to learn more about how to improve your life through an approach of feeding the whole person, body, soul, and spirit, follow me on my blog, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn, and Medium. If you would like to work with me, schedule a session today.
Tonyah Dee has studied the Bible and wisdom traditions of the world for the last 30 years and teaches about finding ways to increase inner strength, stability, and confidence through practicing spiritual disciplines and healthy habits daily. Tonyah is a nutritionist, registered dietitian (R.D.), and earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Loma Linda University. She also holds certifications in Christ-centered life coaching, equine therapy, and meditation. Tonyah has been published in Scary Mommy, MSN, The Mighty, Mantra Wellness, CoveyClub, Thrive Global. Follow Tonyah on her blog, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn, and Medium.