RESTING IN GOD 08-11-2016

When I discovered deep collective silences in Quaker meetings, I knew I’d come upon something as profound and vast as the ocean. I wanted to go deeper into silence than the prescribed hour of silent worship allowed. So I practiced silent worship every morning for progressively longer periods. In the process I made numerous discoveries, which eventually led to my love affair with silence. Thomas Keating refers to silent prayer sessions as “heavy dates” with God. A “heavy date” with a spouse usually involves physical intimacy. A “heavy date” with God involves intimacy with God’s most essential and primal being: stillness and silence.

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Silent prayer is a principal practice of Quakers, Centering Prayer Practitioners, Prayer of the Heart practitioners, and monastic Christians from East to West. Western Christian tradition refers to silent prayer as the prayer of faith, the prayer of simplicity, the prayer of simple regard, and silent worship. It is also referred to as blessed stillness, watchfulness, and noetic stillness in the writings of the Eastern Church. Resting in God’s pregnant silences is the mystics’ common ground.[1]

“Resting in God” is a phrase Gregory the Great (d. 604) used to summarize the essence of silent prayer. This was the classical meaning of contemplative prayer for Christianity’s first sixteen centuries.

[1] In all the world religions I’ve studied, silent prayer exists in various forms. These are the foundation for deep and recurring mystical experiences, and for intimacy with God.

 

David Frenette’s book The Path of Centering Prayer reenergized the Centering Prayer tradition with its fresh insights and teachings.  Centering Prayer Meditations: Effortless Contemplation to Deepen Your Experience of God is a wonderful companion audio program  created to be equally rewarding as a stand-alone guide – gives listeners an immersive resource to learn contemplative prayer, step by step and in the moment. With clarity and compassionate presence, Frenette explains the essential principles of this contemplative practice for both new and seasoned practitioners, and then guides us experientially through core prayers and meditations.

How do we know that Jesus was actually raised from the dead in bodily form? This course with Prof. N.T. Wright, The Resurrection of the Son of God, examines the extraordinary claim that Jesus of Nazareth was raised from the dead in a bodily fashion to appear in person to people after his cruel death, crucifixion, and entombment.

Check out Simply Good News by New Testament scholar and author N. T. Wright.  It is based upon his book Simply Good News.  You will instantly get into the heart of the idea of ‘good news’ as it was understood by the 1st Century writers of the New Testament.  It works well for group studies.   

Prepare to be immersed in the 1st Century A.D. context of the life, work, teachings, and actions of Jesus.  Check out Simply Jesus by N. T. Wright. Enjoy an article Rich wrote about one of the lectures on the Beatitudes.

Check out Rich’s review of Christian Prayer Methods by Dr. Philip St. Romain.