QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE ABOUT PRAYER OF RECOLLECTION
CAN I DO IT?
Prayer of recollection is simple, but not easy - the steps are straight forward and do-able, but this prayer experience may need you to build some skills. For starters, this process includes what I would call a form of meditation, inviting you to keep bringing your mind back to the experience as it keeps trying to wander. Many of us are very well trained in distraction, but not very well trained in mental focus. Don’t get discouraged. Your mind will become better at this, and the process of noticing and releasing distractions is in itself profitable to your relationship with Jesus and your trust in him.
CAN IT BRING REAL TRANSFORMATION?
In my experience…YES! Prayer of recollection has been one of the most transformative experiences I have practiced. As I have gotten to know Jesus better (his power and his character), and heightened my consciousness of him inside of me, I have more awareness, strength, and power to make the real time changes that he has been calling me to. Teresa of Avila said that if you practice this everyday for six months, it will be a gem that you won’t trade for anything. Read on for more details.
CAN IT HELP ME KNOW JESUS?
Yes! Like never before, I am getting to know Jesus better as I journey through one story or teaching a day with him. He is so amazing and such a genius, and to think that I have HIM inside of me!
CAN IT HELP ME STAY CONNECTED WITH JESUS THROUGHOUT THE DAY?
It can – in fact, this has been one of the very delightful things about prayer of recollection for me. For years, I have been loving and soaking and re-soaking in the teachings of seventeenth century monk, Brother Lawrence, and game-changing author Frank Laubach about connecting with God in every moment of the day, but much to my wonderful surprise, I am finding that prayer of recollection has launched me forward in this, more than I had even hoped.
CAN IT IMPROVE MY CURRENT QUALITY OF LIFE?
By all means. You will find that it is even more effective if you keep that scripture in front of you throughout the day, and when you have moments where your brain is not fully occupied; like while driving, cleaning, exercising, pull these verses back to mind one at a time while visualizing Jesus inside of you. You might be pleased to see how God surprises you with new connections to him in the verses during the day. Sometimes I will even lay my hand on my heart and imagine this very Jesus within me.
CAN IT HELP ME GIVE EVERYTHING TO JESUS?
Yes. Reading through the teachings of Jesus, we start to see that he meant Christianity to be an all or nothing event, not a side dish that we notice once in a while. He asks us to give him everything and to die to ourselves. In prayer of recollection, you may find that you love Jesus more than you imagined, and that that appreciation for him keeps growing in each day’s connection. Realizing that he is within you can make giving everything to him and completely releasing ourselves a growing reality.
WHAT IS THE BEST ENVIRONMENT TO PRACTICE PRAYER OF RECOLLECTION?
It is best to carve out a silent, solitary environment without any external distractions. You may need to creatively think about your schedule to identify the best time of day and location to meet with Jesus inside of you. Check out these suggestions for setting up your space.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?
Teresa of Avila recommended at least 30 minutes. I also think it is helpful to have a few minutes after the experience to journal any prayers or thoughts. When I started, I only did 10 minutes for the first few days because I was scared of 30, but I love it now and I think 30 minutes is really powerful.
HOW DOES PRAYER OF RECOLLECTION RELATE TO OTHER DISCIPLINES?
I have found prayer of recollection to be an interesting interweaving of many traditional spiritual practices. In addition to silence, solitude, and prayer; you many find yourself experiencing worship, meditation, self-knowledge and confession, the study of scripture, journaling, and a growing knowledge of and love for Jesus.
WHAT IF I FALL ASLEEP DURING PRAYER OF RECOLLECTION?
I love this question because for weeks when I started this practice I slept or almost slept nearly every time. I am not sure why that happened or why it stopped happening. Nevertheless, what a wonderful way to fall asleep.