Here’s something I do as a concrete spiritual practice of the prayer of the heart: As thoughts and emotions come to me—luring me, enticing me, distracting me—I simply look at them one by one, penetrating each thought or emotion as fully as I can, and then I say, “Not this.”

Another rises immediately in it’s place and I say, “Not that.”

To yet another, I say, “Not now.”

If I’m in a meeting that demands my concentration or sitting over dinner with a loved one, I must do this quickly so that I don’t cease to be present. But if I’m sitting in prayer or meditation, I have the luxury of trying to discern where the thought or emotion came from, why it’s come to me now, what may have triggered it, whether or not God is inviting me to explore it or if it’s merely a distraction sent my way by a mind not yet ready to surrender to God.

The point is, I don’t want to blindly follow these thoughts; instead I want keep unhooking myself from them, disidentifying myself from them, putting some space between myself and these thoughts.

For more meditations on the Daily Guide/Rule of Life, click on the blog category, “Daily Guide/Rule of Life”

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AuthorChris Neufeld-Erdman