“Be still and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10
“…when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door and pray to your God in secret. And your God, who sees in secret, will repay you.” Matthew 6.6
Centering Prayer is an ancient Christian silent prayer practice that was reintroduced to the Christian community in the 1970’s, by Father Thomas Keating. Communing or resting in God in prayer and meditation practices has been democratized and is no longer only available for monks in monasteries. It is aboutintention not about attention like many other form of Eastern meditation. All religious traditions throughout history have advocated quiet prayer practices, and with the increase of noise and stimulus in our modern daily lives. It is invaluable to have a teacher and group support to begin to learn and practice silent prayer. Centering prayer is simply, resting in God. You can google, Centering Prayer and/orContemplative Prayer to find many resources, including videos, history etc. about this fast growing international movement. “The sacred word is merely the symbol of the consent of one’s will to God’s presence ….. The sacred word is simply a means of reaffirming our original intention at the beginning of our period of prayer to be in God’s presence and to surrender to the divine action when we are attracted to some other thought, feeling or impression. Throughout the period of Centering Prayer, our intention predominates: the movement of our will to consent to God’s intention, which according to our faith, is to communicate the divine life to us. Hence, unlike TM, Centering Prayer is a personal relationship with God, not a technique.”
Suggested books to read as you begin this new practice;
- Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening, Cynthia Bourgeault
- Open Mind Open Heart, Father Thomas Keating
- The Cloud of Unknowing, anonymous fourteenth century
Beginning 4 steps
- Lighting of candle, ringing of bell and reading of short scripture.
- Close your eyes, sit comfortably with your feet both on the ground and a straight back and remember to rest in God.
- Return to your sacred word gently, when any thoughts or feelings come. (Love, God, Abba, Amma, etc.)
- Continue for 20 minutes and leader will ring bell and close with a prayer.
Our Mother who is within us, we celebrate your many names. Your wisdom come, your will be done, unfolding from the depths within us. Each day you give us all that we need. You remind us of our limits and we let go. You support us in our power and we act with courage. For you are the dwelling place within us, the empowerment around us and the celebration among us, now and forever. Amen
— Miriam Therese Winter