As you might suspect, Contemplative Prayer offers forms of prayer that are quiet, thoughtful, and meditative. These are descriptors of what part of the prayer looks like to an observer. Yet, the various forms of Contemplative Prayer handed down to us originally from the desert Mothers and Fathers are anything but dull. Contemplative Prayer exists to place us into an intensely personal, open-hearted space with the Creator of the Universe. If that is not scary-exciting, I don't know what is. The second part of Contemplative Praying is to live life with the expansive Spirit of God as your companion. Contemplative Prayer touches you from the inside out. You become more Christ-like, Christ in you (some call it union with God). A beautiful place to live in and out of.
What are some different kinds of Contemplative Prayer? Click HERE.
"My life is listening. His is speaking. My salvation is to hear and respond. For this my life must be silent. Hence, my silence is my salvation."
Fr. Thomas Merton
Contemplative Prayers are simple, but that does not make them easy to do. Too many believers today equate busy-ness with church things as an accomplishment (or worse, godliness), but busy often means activity, not real connection or community. Finding real depth and deep sharing for any relationship takes time and intention - precisely what prayerful contemplation teaches us.
It is one thing to say 'God loves us,' but to have true love in a one to one closeness is something we can embody - with the Christ, the Spirit of Wholeness, and the Creator of all that lives and moves and has infinite being: this is Abundant Life.
IF… you are ready to move your relationship with God from transactional to transformational, consider taking up one or more Contemplative Prayer practices. If you also want to learn your personal patterns of action and avoidance, consider looking into the Enneagram and its spiritual dimensions. This will allow you to flourish in body, mind, and soul. My dream for the world is for it to become a place of wholeness where Flourishing Souls abound everywhere.
"There is something about solitude and silence, something that makes them both desirable and awe-ful. I fear the silence. I fear that God won't speak. I fear what I may hear, or that I may not hear."
Forms of Contemplative Prayer
Because Contemplative Prayer has both quiet and active dimensions, the sampling of prayers listed below include both quiet and active forms.
There are more prayer practices to explore, including Stations of the Cross, Fasting, Sabbath, Pilgrimage, Service, etc. Many of these practices listed above can be found in The Sacred Way: Spiritual Practices for Everyday Life. Tony Jones, Zondervon: Grand Rapids, 2005.