Letting go and trusting God is not always an easy thing to do. The practice of contemplation prayer moves us steadily forward.
Staying in a relationship within the God the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit means finding constant pleasure in Gods divine company. We connect by simply chatting humbly and lovingly without limiting the conversation in any way. Contemplative Prayer is also about listening for the Holy Spirit’s voice. This is especially important in times of temptation, sorrow, and even in times of unfaithfulness and other sins.
Pondering upon and enjoying God’s presence is contemplation. The way of contemplation is nonverbal. Unspoken words and cries of the heart become thought forms manifesting themselves before the throne room of God.
Contemplation was shortened into a simple modern method in the 1970s by three Trappist monks, William Menninger, Basil Pennington, and Abbot Thomas Keating.
This method of prayer is traditionally called Centering Prayer, which denotes focus, to be present with, and to find balance. It consists of responding to the Holy Spirit (Spirit of Christ) by consenting to God’s presence and action within.
Centering Prayer helps to quieten our sensory faculties to cooperate with the gift of God’s presence. This wonderfully supports us to move from more active modes like a verbal prayer, to focusing and resting in silence before God, even for a few moments is revitalising. This highlights of this kind of prayer is that its easy to foster a friendship with God.
Centering Prayer also fosters a deep discipline which serves the relationship to grow.
Centering Prayer It is Trinitarian in its source, Christ-focused, and pastoral in its effects, and brings and builds together different communities in unity and faith.
There’s so much to say on this vital subject. You have learnt a little about this method of contemplation called centering prayer and prepared yourself for it. Okay now is the time to have a go!
Five Simple Steps to Centering Prayer
1) set a timer for 10 mins
2) choose a sacred word as the symbol of your intent to give permission to God’s presence and action within. This sacred word can be anything that calms you and helps you to be still. It can be or Jesus, mar-an-atha (come here Lord)
My Word is Yahweh meaning, I AM who I AM which describes who God is.
3) sitting comfortably and with eyes closed, settle briefly, and silently introduce the sacred Word as the symbol of your consent to God’s presence and action within.
4) when you become aware of thoughts, return ever-so-gently to your sacred word.
5) at the end of the prayer period, remain in silence with eyes closed for a couple of minutes.
Make this a habit at least once a day. Soon you will feel comfortable, then increase to twice a day. With regularity, this will help you journey through the valley of grief. Over time it becomes habitual. Keep in mind that it doesn’t take away suffering but rather, takes away the fear of suffering, relieves stress and brings you closer to Father God.
You don’t have to think about God to be in God’s presence. God will never leave or forsake you but is always with you till the end of the earth, (Hebrews 13:5).
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Paula Rose Parish
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