Prayerful Meditations

Contemplation is a tool that many have found to enrich the spiritual life. On this page you will find the audio and transcriptions of various prayers and prayerful meditations.

The Serenity Prayer

The Serenity Prayer is commonly known as follows: "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference." It is part of a longer (and very beautiful) prayer, by Reinhold Niebuhr. This longer prayer is easily available on the web, so you might be interested to find it, if you don't already know it.


Introduction to Prayerful Meditation


Prayerful Meditation Explained Audio

Narrator: "Here's a little instruction on how to prepare for meditation. Because we are all different, there is no single, correct way to meditate that works perfectly for everyone. But there are guidelines that can help you get started. First, it's useful to make arrangements to do this on a regular basis in a place and time where you're unlikely to be interrupted for a while. Next find a posture that feels at once relaxed – comfortable – and also dignified. If you are sitting, your back may be as straight as is comfortable, perhaps supported in a chair or against a wall, your hands comfortably on your lap, either up or down, as you like… and your feet flat on the ground. If you choose to lie down, you may be very comfortable, and yet there's a greater chance of falling asleep. Sometimes sleep is what's needed, and the point is to be gentle with yourself as you experiment with what works best for you. Some people even set aside one of their meditation recordings as a bedtime recording, with the intention of using it as a sleep aid.

Some meditations start with a few deep breaths – slow and deep and complete, allowing the tension to flow out. Some meditation recordings are guided visualizations. Others accompany you as you follow along with your breathing. Some people don't use recordings at all. Or they may like soothing sounds, such as the recording of rain or ocean water in the background. Some prefer the general sounds all around them.

At first, it may seem hard to find the time even for the shortest of meditations. But then, when life starts working better for you, you may come to realize it's really healthy and nourishing, a way of showing ourselves loving kindness. As they say in airplanes, put on your oxygen mask first, before setting out to help others. May your meditation or contemplation practice be like nourishing oxygen for your life. God bless."


Palm of God's Hand (visualization for peace, comfort and well-being)


Palm of God's Hand Audio

Narrator: "And now, please join me for a prayerful meditation, In the Palm of God's Hand. Take a deep breath, slowly, deeply and completely. Hold it briefly. And as you exhale, slowly, deeply and completely, relax. Let all tensions go. Remember a time you were truly relaxed. And take another deep breath, slowly, deeply and completely. Hold it briefly. And as you exhale, slowly, deeply and completely, relax. Let all tensions go. Remember a time you were truly relaxed. And take another deep breath, slowly, deeply and completely. Hold it briefly. And as you exhale, slowly, deeply and completely, relax. Let all tensions go. Cast all your cares upon the Lord. The Lord has care for you. And now, I invite you to imagine yourself resting comfortably in the palm of God's own hand. Again, imagine yourself letting go; letting yourself be gently carried by one who has care for you, who has an infinite and compassionate love for you. You feel your breath, you feel your body relax as you let go of tensions, finding comfort, shelter and rest. Okay, getting ready to come back now. Feeling your fingers and your toes. Feeling the chair or the mat as it supports you. And perhaps setting the intention to make this a regular practice. God bless."


Tree of Life (visualization for balance, connectedness, well-being)


Tree of Life Audio

Narrator: "Welcome and please join me in a Tree of Life meditation. Take a deep breath, slowly, deeply and completely. Hold it briefly. And as you exhale, relax. Let all tensions go. Remember a time you were truly relaxed. And take another deep breath, slowly, deeply and completely. Hold it briefly. And as you exhale, slowly, deeply and completely, relax. Let all tensions go. Remember a time you were deeply relaxed. And take another deep breath, slowly, deeply and completely. Hold it briefly. And as you exhale, relax. Let all tensions go. Now, I invite you to imagine yourself walking down a gentle rolling hill to a tree standing by some water. With strong roots going deep down into the earth – your spiritual roots. Look at the tree. What sort of tree is it? is it big? Does it have leaves, or fruit? Feel your connections to the tree's branches as they reach high into the sky, soaking up the warmth of the sun and gathering the waters of the rain. This is your tree of life and you can visit whenever you want. Okay, getting ready to come back now. Feeling your fingers and your toes. Feeling the chair (or the mat) as it supports you. Noticing how good it was to take a moment to be generous with yourself in this way. And perhaps setting the intention to make this a regular practice. God bless."


3-Breath Meditation – Spiritual


3-Breath Meditation – Spiritual Audio

Narrator: Welcome. Please join me for a short mindfulness meditation – we'll start with 3 deep breaths. (1) Take a deep breath slowly, deeply and completely. Hold it briefly, and, as you exhale, relax, let all tensions go. Remember a time you were truly relaxed. (2) And take another deep breath slowly, deeply and completely. Hold it briefly, and as you exhale, slowly deeply and completely, relax. Let all tensions go. Find yourself feeling more and more relaxed with each in- and out-breath. (3) And take another deep breath slowly, deeply and completely. Hold it briefly, and as you exhale, relax. Let all tensions go. And now, breathing normally, notice what you're experiencing physically. You may be more relaxed, and enjoy that. Your mind may have slowed down, perhaps even become totally clear. Your emotions, all in harmony.

Now, if you care to, just bring your attention to the feeling of the breath, wherever it feels most present to you. That may be the cool air around your nostrils or mouth, followed by a certain warmth as you breathe out. You may notice a rising and falling around your belly as you breathe in and breathe out. The rising falling waves of your breathing can gently carry you along, through this meditation, and carry you back if you find your mind has wandered away for a time. So, you can be right back here, right in your body, right in this present moment. Now, I invite you to consider these positive messages or affirmations, or repeat them with me: Every day in every way I am getting better, better and better by the grace of God... I am a beloved child of God, blessed to be a blessing... When this meditation is complete, my head will be clear, my eyes clear, my stomach settled, just as if I'd had a refreshing 8-hour nap. Okay, getting ready to come back now. Feeling your fingers and your toes, feeling the chair or the mat, as it supports you. Noticing how good it was to take a moment to be generous with yourself in this way. And perhaps setting the intention to make this a regular practice. God bless."


3 Breath Meditation – Secular


3-Breath Meditation – Spiritual Audio

Narrator: Welcome. Please join me for a short mindfulness meditation – we'll start with 3 deep breaths. (1) Take a deep breath slowly, deeply and completely. Hold it briefly, and, as you exhale, relax, let all tensions go. Remember a time you were truly relaxed. (2) And take another deep breath slowly, deeply and completely. Hold it briefly, and as you exhale, slowly deeply and completely, relax. Let all tensions go. Find yourself feeling more and more relaxed with each in- and out-breath. (3) And take another deep breath slowly, deeply and completely. Hold it briefly, and as you exhale, relax. Let all tensions go. And now, breathing normally, notice what you're experiencing physically. You may be more relaxed, and enjoy that. Your mind may have slowed down, perhaps even become totally clear. Your emotions, all in harmony.

Now, if you care to, just bring your attention to the feeling of the breath, wherever it feels most present to you. That may be the cool air around your nostrils or mouth, followed by a certain warmth as you breathe out. You may notice a rising and falling around your belly as you breathe in and breathe out. The rising falling waves of your breathing can gently carry you along, through this meditation, and carry you back if you find your mind has wandered away for a time. So, you can be right back here, right in your body, right in this present moment. Now, I invite you to consider these positive messages or affirmations, or repeat them with me: Every day in every way I am getting better, better and better... When this meditation is complete, my head will be clear, my eyes clear, my stomach settled, just as if I'd had a refreshing 8-hour nap. Okay, getting ready to come back now. Feeling your fingers and your toes, feeling the chair or the mat, as it supports you. Noticing how good it was to take a moment to be generous with yourself in this way. And perhaps setting the intention to make this a regular practice."


5 Breath Meditation – Spiritual


5 Breath Meditation – Spiritual Audio

Narrator: Welcome. Please join me for a short mindfulness meditation – we'll start with 5 deep breaths. (1) Take a deep breath slowly, deeply and completely. Hold it briefly, and, as you exhale, relax, let all tensions go. Remember a time you were truly relaxed. (2) And take another deep breath slowly, deeply and completely. Hold it briefly, and as you exhale, relax. Let all tensions go. (3) Take another deep breath slowly, deeply and completely. Hold it briefly, and as you exhale, slowly, deeply and completely, relax. Let all tensions go. Remember a time you were deeply relaxed. (4) And take another deep breath slowly, deeply and completely. Hold it briefly, and as you exhale, slowly, deeply and completely relax. Find yourself feeling more and more relaxed with each in- and out-breath. (5) And take another deep breath slowly, deeply and completely. Hold it briefly, and as you exhale, relax. Let all tensions go.

And now, breathing normally, notice what you're experiencing physically. You may be more relaxed, and enjoy that. Your mind may have slowed down, perhaps even become totally clear. Your emotions, all in harmony.

Now, if you care to, just bring your attention to the feeling of the breath, wherever it feels most present to you. That may be the cool air around your nostrils or mouth, followed by a certain warmth as you breathe out. You may notice a rising and falling around your belly as you breathe in and breathe out. The rising falling waves of your breathing can gently carry you along, through this meditation, and carry you back if you find your mind has wandered away for a time. So, you can be right back here, right in your body, right in this present moment.

Now I invite you to consider these positive messages or affirmations, or repeat them with me: Every day in every way I am getting better, better and better by the grace of God... I am a beloved child of God, blessed to be a blessing... When this meditation is complete, my head will be clear, my eyes clear, my stomach settled, just as if I'd had a refreshing 8-hour nap. Okay, getting ready to come back now. Feeling your fingers and your toes, feeling the chair or the mat, as it supports you. Noticing how good it was to take a moment to be generous with yourself in this way. And perhaps setting the intention to make this a regular practice. God bless."


5 Breath Meditation – Secular


5 Breath Meditation – Secular Audio

Narrator: Welcome. Please join me for a short mindfulness meditation – we'll start with 5 deep breaths. (1) Take a deep breath slowly, deeply and completely. Hold it briefly, and, as you exhale, relax, let all tensions go. Remember a time you were truly relaxed. (2) And take another deep breath slowly, deeply and completely. Hold it briefly, and as you exhale, relax. Let all tensions go. (3) Take another deep breath slowly, deeply and completely. Hold it briefly, and as you exhale, slowly, deeply and completely, relax. Let all tensions go. Remember a time you were deeply relaxed. (4) And take another deep breath slowly, deeply and completely. Hold it briefly, and as you exhale, slowly, deeply and completely relax. Find yourself feeling more and more relaxed with each in- and out-breath. (5) And take another deep breath slowly, deeply and completely. Hold it briefly, and as you exhale, relax. Let all tensions go.

And now, breathing normally, notice what you're experiencing physically. You may be more relaxed, and enjoy that. Your mind may have slowed down, perhaps even become totally clear. Your emotions, all in harmony.

Now, if you care to, just bring your attention to the feeling of the breath, wherever it feels most present to you. That may be the cool air around your nostrils or mouth, followed by a certain warmth as you breathe out. You may notice a rising and falling around your belly as you breathe in and breathe out. The rising falling waves of your breathing can gently carry you along, through this meditation, and carry you back if you find your mind has wandered away for a time. So, you can be right back here, right in your body, right in this present moment.

Now I invite you to consider these positive messages or affirmations, or repeat them with me: Every day in every way I am getting better, better and better... When this meditation is complete, my head will be clear, my eyes clear, my stomach settled, just as if I'd had a refreshing 8-hour nap. Okay, getting ready to come back now. Feeling your fingers and your toes, feeling the chair or the mat, as it supports you. Noticing how good it was to take a moment to be generous with yourself in this way. And perhaps setting the intention to make this a regular practice."


Forgiveness Visualization


Forgiveness Visualization Audio

Narrator: "Welcome and please join me in a Forgiveness meditation. Take a deep breath, slowly, deeply and completely. Hold it briefly. And as you exhale, relax. Let all tensions go. Remember a time you were truly relaxed. And take another deep breath, slowly, deeply and completely. Hold it briefly. And as you exhale, slowly, deeply and completely, relax. Let all tensions go. Remember a time you were deeply relaxed. And take another deep breath, slowly, deeply and completely. Hold it briefly. And as you exhale, relax. Let all tensions go. Now I invite you to imagine you are walking down a path it's a gentle inclination, it slopes gently down to a green meadow there by a stream and a beautiful, cool blue lake is a tree, your tree of life… with deep and strong roots, these are your spiritual roots and great and strong branches reaching out and up into the sky as if it would touch the heavens… you go and sit right under the tree, and you notice Jesus is there also sitting with you, looking at you lovingly, gently, and forgivingly. Just breathing, sitting under that tree, you feel that gentle loving and forgiving gaze. Then, you remember that you had the intention in this meditation to forgive people. Looking around the meadow you notice there are rocks. Boulders. And there are three people on the other side of the tree who have offended you. Now, one of these rocks is a symbol for all that anger and hurt about that person… and that anger is cluttering up your meadow, and you've decided to do something about it. To forgive someone is to heal yourself. To hold on to anger is to hurt yourself again… And that's why Jesus taught us to love one another and to forgive one another, that's good health. Just look how warmly, forgivingly and lovingly Jesus is looking at these three…how about that. So you call out to the first person who has offended you, and you tell them how they've hurt you what they've done to offend you …… then you say I forgive you inasmuch as I can (if you can forgive them fully that's great but sometimes it takes time). The rest, you can say, I release to GOD to help me with… then you take a boulder (it may be big or it may be small, depending on how much forgiveness you need to summon up) and you throw it, or roll it, or earthquake-shake it into the lake… the garden around your tree of life is more clear, and you may feel your shoulders lifting, with a weight getting lighter, your heart getting lighter too. And that person somehow vanishes into the heart of Jesus… Now you remember the next person who has offended you, and you tell them how they've hurt you what they've done to offend you …… then you say I forgive you inasmuch as I can (if you can forgive them fully that's great but sometimes it takes time). The rest, you can say, I release to GOD to help me with… then you take a boulder (it may be big or it may be small, depending on how much forgiveness you need to summon up) and you throw it, or roll it, or earthquake-shake it into the lake… the garden around your tree of life is more clear, and you may feel your shoulders lifting, with a weight getting lighter, your heart getting lighter too. And that person somehow vanishes into the heart of Jesus… The garden around your tree of life is more clear, and you may feel your shoulders lifting, your soul growing lighter, lighter than before. And now you remember the third person who has offended you, and you tell them how they've hurt you what they've done to offend you …… then you say I forgive you inasmuch as I can (if you can forgive them fully that's great but sometimes it takes time). The rest, you can say, I release to GOD to help me with… then you take a boulder (it may be big or it may be small, depending on how much forgiveness you need to summon up) and you throw it, or roll it, or earthquake-shake it into the lake… the garden around your tree of life is more clear, and you may feel your shoulders lifting, with a weight getting lighter, your heart getting lighter too. And that person somehow vanishes into the heart of Jesus… then you look at Jesus and you tell yourself, "self" you say to yourself, "I forgive you inasmuch as I can and the rest i give to God" and you feel so light you can almost fly, as you, too, are taken into the very heart of God, remembering you are God's beloved child. Now it's come to the time to leave your garden. Take a moment to look around. It may still have some rocks. You look around in your garden before it's time to leave your meadow… it still may have some rocks and you know you need to come back again. You want your meadow to be beautiful and clear, so flowers can grow. And as you're getting ready to say goodbye to your tree you feel…a lightness and a joy that comes from knowing that you are fully loved, with an infinite, unconditional love, forever and always; that you are a beloved child of God."


Loving Kindness Prayer (Christian - based on Metta Prayer)


Loving Kindness Prayer
(Christian - based on Metta Prayer)
Audio

Narrator: "Merciful Jesus, hear my prayer. May I be well and free, safe and happy. May I ever experience God's grace, love and light. And may I awaken to the beauty of my true nature, a beloved child of God. May you be well and free, safe and happy. May you ever experience God's grace, love and light. And may you awaken to the beauty of my true nature, a beloved child of God. May my friends be well and free, safe and happy. May my friends ever experience God's grace, love and light. And may my friends awaken to their true nature, God's beloved children. May my enemies1 be well and free, safe and happy. May my enemies ever experience God's grace, love and light. And may my enemies awaken to their true nature, God's beloved children. May all things be well and free, and safe, peaceful and at ease. May all things ever experience God's grace, love and light. And may all things awaken to the beauty of their true nature, God's beloved creation. These things I ask in Jesus' holy name. Amen.


Loving Kindness Prayer - Metta


Loving Kindness Prayer - Metta Audio

Narrator: "May I be well, free, and safe. May I be free from suffering and the root cause of suffering. And may I awaken to the beauty of my true nature. May you be well, free, and safe. May you be free from suffering and the root cause of suffering. And may you awaken to the beauty of your true nature. May my friends be well, free, and safe. May my friends be free from suffering and the root cause of suffering. And may my friends awaken to the beauty of their true nature. May my enemies be well, free and safe. May my enemies be free from suffering and the root cause of suffering. And may my enemies awaken to the beauty of their true nature. May all sentient beings be well, free, and safe. May all sentient beings be free from suffering and the root cause of suffering. And may all sentient beings awaken to the beauty of their true nature.


About Prayerful Meditations

NHM Ministrants offers prayerful meditations and visualizations to enrich the personal spiritual life. We can't expect something to grow unless we tend it, and the practice of generous contemplation can water the seeds of our good intentions in the garden of a soul. As a side benefit, helps us experience life in a more positive way, because it "encourages an attitude of friendliness towards our experience regardless of how difficult it may be." (Fronsdal, Gil. The Issue at Hand. 2001:83) To cultivate a habit, it is sometimes helpful to associate it with some other daily activity, such as a morning shower. The meditations and visualizations offered here are geared towards adults, teens and tweens. Most, but not all, include references to God (those marked "secular" do not). For children, we suggest the Butterfly meditations available free in many languages from The Elfenworks Foundation.

Non-Medical Disclaimer – We are not engaged in professional medical services and assume no responsibility for patient outcomes. Medical advice and decisions are appropriately made only by a competent and licensed medical practitioner, who must make decisions, in light of all of the facts and circumstances in each individual and particular case. We absolutely do not advocate that anyone turn away from their current treatment or support—these meditative visualizations are intended to augment, not replace, any such treatment. — NHM Ministrants, a division of Elfenworks Productions, LLC

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