Gather the students in chairs around a large candle. Light the candle and dim the lights. Present a centering meditation based on the following prayer script. If you wish, softly play some reflective music during the meditation.
We are physical beings. The position of our bodies makes a difference in all that we do, including when we pray. So pay attention to how you are sitting. Try this:
Sit with your back straight, but resting against the back of your chair. Put both feet on the floor about six inches apart and directly under your knees. You want to feel the floor with your whole foot, heel to toe. Let your hand rest, palms up, in your lap.
Now close your eyes. Listen to my voice and try not to concentrate on anything else. If a stray thought pops into your mind, just put it aside and return to the sound of my voice.
There is tension in your body. Feel it. Feel it in your head, just above your ears, at your temples. All the stress and worries of your day are represented by that tension. Name the primary worry that is causing your tension. Focus on that worry. Feel the tension again and let it go. Feel it drain away, and follow it down.
The tension is now in your neck. Let your head fall forward until you feel the stretch in the back of your neck. Gently pull the tension out of those muscles, then slowly raise your head.
The tension is caused by the worry of your day has slipped down now to your shoulders. It is resting there, and it is a heavy burden. Shrug your shoulders just once. Feel your shoulders relax. Shrug off your burden. Send that stress and tension down your arms until in pools in your hands.
All the worries of your day, all the troubles you is there in your hands. Grip it tightly. There is some comfort in your worry. It is, after all, your very own. It is important to you. But the time has come to let it go. Open your hands as you can to let your worry slide out into your lap.
Now there is nothing to stop it. Imagine it moving, into your legs, into your feet. It has gathered there, but all it takes is one little wiggle of your toes in your shoes and it will be gone. Let your worry go. You don’t need it. Let it go.When you finish call on student to read Matthew 6:25–34. Then say:
When I finish giving these directions, gather somewhere in this room in your small groups. Form a close circle with your partners. When everyone has been grouped, I will give one lighted candle to a person in each group. Pass the candle around the circle twice. The first time you pass it, share the worry you named in the centering meditation. The second time, pass the candle in silence. Hold it quietly for a few moments. Everyone in the circle is to pray silently for the person holding the candle. Pray that God removes this worry from this person’s life.
When everyone has been prayed for, hold the candle in the center of your group. Then reach out and touch the candle with one hand to symbolize our unity in Christ and his constant loving presence in our midst. Pray together the Our Father and Hail Mary, asking for removal of all unnecessary worries in our lives.