Contemplative Prayer

“Be Still and Know That I Am God” Psalm 46:10

What is Contemplative Prayer?

  • A pure gift from God
  • An opening of our minds and hearts to God
  • Beyond thoughts words and emotions

In Aramaic, the word for prayer means “to open oneself to the Divine Presence” and “ to listen to.”

Christian Prayer is rooted in the word of God in scripture and in the person of Jesus Christ.

God takes the initiative in relationship to us.

Centering Prayer is based on the wisdom saying of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount,

But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”
Matthew 6:6

Centering Prayer is a relationship with God

Centering Prayer is a movement beyond conversation with Christ to communion with him.

The discipline of Centering Prayer is in total service to the relationship.

With deepest appreciation to Fr. Thomas Keating.

Find a Centering Prayer Group at

The Guidelines:

  • Choose a sacred word as the symbol of your intention to consent to God’s presence and action within (Try words such as, God, love, trust, Jesus, peace, Abba).
  • Sitting comfortably and with your eyes closed, settle briefly and silently introduce the sacred word as the symbol of your consent to God’s presence and action within.
  • When engaged with your thoughts return ever so gently to the sacred word.
  • At the end of the prayer period, remain in silence for with eyes closed for a couple of minutes.

The Sacred Word

Your sacred word expresses your intention and consent to God’s presence within

Silently say your sacred word when

  • Thinking about thoughts
  • Engaged in interior dialogue

In Centering Prayer both thoughts and silence have an important role to play.

  • Some thoughts contain what needs to be healed
  • Silence creates space for healing to take place

Each time you return to your sacred word is a prayer and an act of love.

Remember the 4 R’s

Resist no thought

Retain no thought

React emotionally to no thought

Return ever so gently to the sacred word

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