To practice prayer of the heart, begin by finding yourself in a comfortable position. Breathe deeply and slowly as you notice and then release any tension you might have in your body. Enter into the realm of the heart through your mind. It is necessary to go through the mind with all of its thought activity into the silence that characterizes the place of the heart. Choose a single simple word or phrase as a point of mind focus. You might want to use the name of Jesus or another form of the Jesus Prayer as your focus word or phrase.
Your chosen sacred word or phrase represents your intentional consent to the presence and action of our Lord within you. It represents your call to God to meet you in your heart. Use the word or phrase you have chosen to move with intention through your thoughts. Welcome any and all thoughts at any time, notice each of them, and then return your attention to your sacred word or phrase. Answer your thoughts with your sacred word or phrase. Push through to the place of your heart. You may begin to notice a place of rest within. You may simply realize that you are already there. Rest in the Spirit. Wait quietly. Listen. Meet Him in your heart.
As you are ready, allow yourself to return slowly from your prayer experience with renewed attunement to the divine presence of God in Christ through the Holy Spirit in and through and around you. The entire prayer process becomes natural and easy with continued familiarity through practice. You may find that two twenty-minute periods daily are welcome and desirable. You may want to share your experience with a spiritual friend, director or spiritual journey group.
Notice the impact of your prayer practice not only during the time of prayer itself but also in your active life. The fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) may become increasingly manifest in you. You may find yourself “remembering” or praying your sacred word or phrase at unexpected times in unexpected settings. You may discover that your heart enters into prayer seemingly on its own. Prayer may begin to visit you as you become more and more familiar with the place of your heart. God be with you and bless you on your journey.