We often tend to slight serious meditation and prayer as something not really necessary. To be sure, we feel it it something that might help us to meet an occasional emergency, but at first many of us are apt to regard it as a somewhat mysterious skill of clergymen, from which we may hope to get a secondhand benefit.

Bill W.

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12 Step Centering Prayer Group Format

  1. Open with serenity prayer
  2. Go around the circle and have everyone introduce themselves and say a few words about their experience the past week with Centering Prayer
  3. Read the 4 guidelines, and if someone is new to Centering Prayer, the leader and others should spend a few minutes more discussing the guidelines.
  4. Prayer periods are usually 20-30 minutes. They begin with 3 rings of a gong, a short reading of a psalm, poem or prayer followed by one more gong to start the prayer period.
  5. End the prayer period with three rings of the gong and the leader may recite a short prayer like the Our Father or the 3rd Step prayer.
  6. Some groups read literature like Open Mind, Open Heart by Thomas Keating or Divine Therapy and Addiction by Keating and Skinner. Others watch a DVD. There is usually 20 minutes of discussion.
  7. End after an hour unless the group chooses to set the meeting time at 90 minutes.

*Some groups rotate facilitators and or leaders while others may choose to elect a person with more experience in the prayer to facilitate the group for an extended period of time. Most 12 Step groups use the group conscience model to make group decisions.