Christian Mindfulness Exercise 5: Focus on What You Are Doing

When we walk with Jesus, everything we do can be a prayer. This is where the practice of Christian mindfulness comes in.

Focus on the task at hand, giving it your attention while seeking to feel the presence of God.

We don’t always have to use words to pray continually, although we generally have to start out that way. Henri J.M. Nouwen, in his book “Here and Now,” recommends starting with a simple prayer … the name Jesus, Come Holy Spirit, the Jesus prayer or anything short like that … and repeating it over and over. This is called a mantram in other traditions.

Nouwen writes: “When we remain faithful to our discipline, even if it is only 10 minutes a day, we gradually come to see … by the candlelight of our prayers … that there is a space within us where God dwells and where we are invited to dwell with God. Once we come to know that inner, holy place … we want to be there and be spiritually fed.”

Staying focused on one thing can be about as difficult as continual prayer. Here’s some encouragement: The Amish accomplish an incredible amount in their days in part because they are working with concentration and not dealing with constant distractions, like cell phones and television. We can do the same by focusing on one task at a time while the mantra bubbles away in the back of our minds.

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