Waiting for God in Prayer 10-27-2016

In Centering Prayer we allow whatever comes up in prayer to run its course. We surrender to the present moment as it is, without trying to alter it, patiently waiting for God. Anne Lamott adds: “Believing in God is the easy part. Waiting for God is the hard part.”[1]

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Eventually all arising thoughts and images fade into the background. Then we experience fullness, spaciousness, and liberty from the hidden recesses of addictive process within our minds. This is God’s intent. For God is all vitality and goodness, radiating from the center of every cell, every earthworm, every cheetah, and every sycamore.

“Meditation” and “contemplation” are both misleading terms. Meditation implies Eastern meditation and everything associated with it. Contemplation implies thought. To avoid confusion, instead of the terms “contemplation” or “meditation” I often use “silent prayer.” Unlike meditation, the term silent prayer never loses sight of relationship with God. The self never dissolves into God. The self is always in relationship with God.[2]

The term “prayer” always implies relationship and intimate conversation. That’s why Christians carefully retain the word “prayer” to distinguish Christian silent prayer from other forms of meditative practice.


[1] Lamott, Grace Eventually.

[2] In Christian mysticism the distinction between us and God is never completely obliterated. The veil does get thin, transparent, and even blows wide open occasionally, yet the veil remains. Again we come back to balance. To lean toward total absorption into God or total distinction from God is just more extremism and isn’t in line with the spirit of Miaphysite (The Jesus Paradox).

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.

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