Contemplative Prayer

Scripture Reading — Philippians 4:4-6

?Be still and know that I am God ...?
Psalm 46:10

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Contemplative praying is not something we do; it is simply being in God?s presence. One stills all actions and thoughts, resting the soul in silence and patient waiting. Contemplative praying does not involve reading or analysis. Rather, it involves a stilling of our active thoughts.

To begin to practice contemplative praying, find a quiet place to be alone for 15 to 20 uninterrupted minutes. Some people find it helpful to set a timer so that thinking about how much time has elapsed does not become a distraction. Sit silently. When thoughts occur about events of the day or anything else, acknowledge them and let them go. Sit quietly in the presence of God; your only expectation is that God is with you. As you practice contemplative praying, God may reveal a special meaning to you?but that would be an extraordinary gift, not a result of your struggling for it.

Since the stilling of our thoughts is very difficult in our hectic world, you may want to begin by choosing a sacred word (such as ?Jesus? or ?mercy?) as a sign that you are consenting to God?s presence and to whatever action God wants to take within you. When you find your thoughts wandering, return to attentiveness to God by repeating the word you have chosen. At the end of the time you have set apart, quietly thank God.

Prayer

God of all words and silence, thank you for hearing us clearly through our stumbling words and thoughts. Teach us to listen to you in silence, trust, and hope. Amen.

 

Devotion topics: Christianity, Discipleship, Disciplines