Contemplative Prayer

Services

Sunday - 9:15 AM Sunday School, 10:30 AM Worship Service

by: Denise Robinson

09/10/2021

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"Prayer is talking to God”: we've probably all heard those words. I did. As children, we learn the usual first prayers (“Now I lay me down to sleep” and “God is great, God is good. . .”), followed, a bit later, by the Lord’s Prayer and the Twenty-Third Psalm. We've also likely been encouraged to speak to God in our own words and instructed that the appropriate topics for this conversation were to give thanks for the blessings of the day and to ask for assistance with particular needs and concerns. (Richard Rohr)


But prayer is not always so much about speaking as it is listening to God. Not even listening for messages, exactly, but just being there, quietly gathered in God’s presence. And in that silence, we can begin to know a prayer much deeper than “talking to God.” Somewhere in those depths of silence we come upon an experience of God as a loving presence who is  always near, and prayer as a simple trust in that presence.

This type of prayer, known as contemplative prayer, is simply a wordless, trusting opening of self to the divine presence. Far from being advanced, it is about the simplest form of prayer there is. Children recognize it instantly—as I did—perhaps because, as the sixteenth-century mystic John of the Cross intimates, “Silence is God’s first language.”

Haven't tried contemplative prayer? I encourage you to spend a few minutes in this "wordless, trusting opening of self" to God's presence.
"Prayer is talking to God”: we've probably all heard those words. I did. As children, we learn the usual first prayers (“Now I lay me down to sleep” and “God is great, God is good. . .”), followed, a bit later, by the Lord’s Prayer and the Twenty-Third Psalm. We've also likely been encouraged to speak to God in our own words and instructed that the appropriate topics for this conversation were to give thanks for the blessings of the day and to ask for assistance with particular needs and concerns. (Richard Rohr)


But prayer is not always so much about speaking as it is listening to God. Not even listening for messages, exactly, but just being there, quietly gathered in God’s presence. And in that silence, we can begin to know a prayer much deeper than “talking to God.” Somewhere in those depths of silence we come upon an experience of God as a loving presence who is  always near, and prayer as a simple trust in that presence.

This type of prayer, known as contemplative prayer, is simply a wordless, trusting opening of self to the divine presence. Far from being advanced, it is about the simplest form of prayer there is. Children recognize it instantly—as I did—perhaps because, as the sixteenth-century mystic John of the Cross intimates, “Silence is God’s first language.”

Haven't tried contemplative prayer? I encourage you to spend a few minutes in this "wordless, trusting opening of self" to God's presence.
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