Ever wondered what Contemplative Prayer is? Or maybe, how to do it? Hungry for a new prayer tool in your life, to reconnect with God in your everyday?
Join us over these three wednesdays on zoom for an introduction to Contemplative Prayer.
What is Contemplative Prayer?
It is a practice of prayer which is guided, usually by some question prompts or prayer word, that invites us to quiet our minds with the intention of turning toward God and letting something of our inner self, our true self in Jesus Christ emerge from behind the curtain of our Ego and daily concerns.
Why do I need to be invited back into the story of God alive in my day?
Our days are fuller and fuller with details, distractions, events, and needs. Sometimes, while we may know God's presence all the time, seeing the little ways God continues to impact our lives becomes harder due to all the noise of the world.Pausing, sitting, and being guided through listening to where and what God is up to in our days allows us to deepen our understanding and development of not only gratitude but discernment and faith.
So contemplative prayer is about deeper faith?
Yes, and no. Contemplative prayer opens for us windows to see faith alive in our lives by focusing on where God is at work in our lives. Sometimes this takes the form of reexamining experiences of situations to understand what God was up too with us.Some forms of Contemplative prayer aim to quiet the mind, not dwell on details, but sit in the loving presence of God, in silence to experience the “still small voice” of the Divine. The practice aims to develop an experience of God’s love to enrich our understanding of God’s love. However, the first stages of the Contemplative prayer life involves all those thoughts and feelings and some of them can be unpleasant.
So contemplative prayer is therapy?
No, contemplative prayer is not therapy. If something from the guided meditation comes up for you which causes you pain or discomfort, seeking a therapeutic relationship to work through it will be recommended.
Why can’t the group just help me, why should I go to a therapist?
None of us are licensed therapists, and we do not employ licensed therapists to do this work with us. While we may have life experiences and a deep desire to help, real damage can be done to your soul and faith when confronted with challenging personal experiences and trained professionals are not employed to help you through that.A Contemplative prayer circle is a community of Christians supporting each other in the practice of this quiet prayer; we walk beside each other but do not lead or solve problems.
Silence, contemplation, and open prayer make me uncomfortable. Will it just be hours of silence? What should I expect?
Contemplative prayer starts slow and builds. One does not start running on a treadmill at 100 km/hr, we start at a slow walk. We will gather in a group, on zoom, reviewing some group norms around confidentiality and conversation, and have some orientation to the sessions.We may read some books (or selections) to help us with some practical theory and tips along the way.We will start the practice of prayer with 10 minute guided sessions, and build on them as we go. The idea being that as we ease into them, we don't really notice the length of time anymore.
these lands upon which we worship as the ancestral, cultural, traditional and unceded lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) people from time immemorial.