It is usually most helpful when entering into a formal period of prayer to spend some time quietening down and centring on God.
The following indications, known as “Anchor Points” have been found to provide a good framework for your prayer.
Particularly important after coming to some inner quiet is the slow entry and slow exit from prayer.
Four Anchor Points
Choose your place of prayer. Make yourself comfortable, you may like to light a candle. Get in touch with your feelings: What is my frame of mind? What do I want to say to the Lord; what do I desire?
- ENTRY INTO PRAYER
Become quiet and still. Relax. Try to put aside any distractions. Choose a passage of scripture. Make the sign of the cross, visibly or in your heart. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide your prayer. Read your chosen text slowly several times. Notice what comforts or disturbs you.
- SLOW EXIT FROM PRAYER
Speak to the Lord in your own words about this time of prayer, what has it meant to you. Perhaps finish with the Glory be to the Father or a favourite prayer of your own. Make a sign of the cross, internal or external. Leave your place of prayer, thanking God for the time he has spent with you.
- REFLECTION AFTER PRAYER
Ask for whatever grace you need to respond to our Lord, “with my whole heart, my whole soul, my whole mind”. If possible, do this in a different place. Recall the prayer period: Was it good to be at prayer? Did you learn something; maybe feel that the Lord was asking something of you? Notice how you are feeling now. You may find it helpful to jot down your thoughts in a notebook.