Contemplative Prayer: centered on what?

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Contemplative Prayer: centered on what?

Brandon Booth
Brandon Booth
May 4, 2021

Contemplative Prayer: centered on what?

The phrase "contemplative prayer," sometimes called "centering prayer" is unfortunately vague. Though the term is a modern invention, the method of sitting quietly and "centering" one's entire self on Jesus is deeply rooted in Christian history. Reaching back to Scripture itself.

The prophet Isaiah declares:

You keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you (26:3-5 ESV).

Psalm 131 sings:

LORD, my heart is not proud;
my eyes are not haughty.
I do not get involved with things
too great or too wondrous for me.
Instead, I have calmed and quieted my soul
like a weaned child with its mother;
my soul is like a weaned child (CSB).

Jesus said to his disciples “Come away by yourselves to a remote place and rest for a while.” and “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest" (Mark 6:31 & Matthew 11:28 CSB).

St. Augustine said, "We are called home from the noise that is around us to the joys that are silent. Behold God is love! Why do we rush about, running from here to there, looking for God who is here at home with us, if all we want is to be with him?"

And I could go on! Pointing to Christians throughout the centuries from the Desert Fathers to Teresa of Avila to Luther. All of whom understood and taught that prayer is, at its root, "Lifting our hearts and minds to God" (Luther).

So what is Contemplative Prayer? It is a small, yet powerful way to practice "Loving the Lord my God with all my heart, with all my soul, with all my strength, and with all my mind” (Luke 10:27 CSB). It is firmly and squarely centered on, and done in, the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

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