PRAYER OF RECOLLECTION
Step by step instructions
Choose a section of the Bible that describes some event or teaching from the life of Jesus, (for example, the story of Mary and Martha with Jesus in Luke 10:38-42). Consider working your way through one of the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John) with one section per day.
Find a place where you can be alone. Have your Bible reading open in your lap. Put your phone on airplane mode, or do not disturb mode (maybe even leave it out of the room). Set a timer for 30 minutes. (If this is not feasible, do what you can.)
Close your eyes and breathe deeply. Allow your body to relax. Quiet your mind. Minimize all noise and external disruptions.
As mental distractions come, acknowledge each thought, e.g., “I am _______ [worried about…, stressed by…, distracted by…, etc.]." Then release it: “I release this to you, God,” or, “I trust you with this, Jesus.”
After getting comfortably settled and acknowledging the first wave of distractions, you are ready to start the practice.
Imagine the Jesus of this scripture is inside you. Picture him there. Look into his eyes with love, and see him looking into your eyes with love.
Allow your mind to deeply dwell on the scripture; consider looking back at one thought of the passage at a time. If you finish the section and have time left, feel free to start back at the beginning of the section. Subsequent readings can bring new thoughts and experiences. In each verse, be aware that the Jesus you read about is the Jesus within you, the Jesus that you are gazing at.
Distracting thoughts are a natural part of this process. Each time they arise, continue acknowledging them, releasing them and turning your thoughts back to Jesus within you. When you are new to this practice, you may find that your mind spends more time on distractions than meditation, which is completely normal.
Imagine the situation described in the text and ask yourself questions. What does this show you about God? Yourself? What does this lead you to worship about God? What might you confess in light of this section? Is there something that this teaching leads you to ask God for?
Use these questions to promote your Bible meditation, not as a worksheet, but as the Spirit leads you with the text.
You can speak to him about any of the thoughts the scripture evokes in you. Perhaps you want to invite the Jesus with Mary and Martha to help take your eyes off the tasks and activities of your life that distract you from him. You may desire to express your love or thanks to him, or ask him to help you in a difficult situation. Alternatively, you may not have words to speak. Continue looking quietly at this Jesus within you with eyes of faith and love.
When your timer goes off, you may wish to close your time with Jesus by reciting Psalm 23.
After finishing the prayer of recollection:
If it is helpful, journal any reflections, thoughts, or prayers from your time with Jesus.
Consider reading a Bible commentary when you are done. Many study Bibles have a commentary built right into the text.
Invite this Jesus to stay in your heart and your awareness moment by moment.
Consider keeping the verse you read in front of you throughout the day to look back on.
If you have tasks during the day that allow freedom of thought, (driving, cleaning, exercise, etc.), you can bring each verse back to your mind one at a time, remembering this Jesus within you and appreciating him!
Take this a step further to bring Jesus in this scripture more deeply into your life by bringing one verse at a time to mind even while doing even thought intensive work. I like to set a five minute timer and move from one verse to the next, imagining this Jesus inside me as I work. It is very powerful!