We are offering a Contemplative Prayer Workshops this Saturday (November 18) and it’s a good time to ask: Why is a non-contemplative-type person like me helping lead a workshop on contemplative prayer?
In a previous post, I stated that contemplative prayer is the “missing piece” for the Christian life- especially us Protestants. But why? What does contemplative prayer do that other forms of prayer and spiritual practices don’t?
Simply put, The more I practice contemplative prayer, I am able to …
…see more clearly
…act more freely
…live more presently
See More Clearly
When I take time to be still, I am able to see my life from a different perspective. Instead of moving (or being moved) from one urgent thing to another, I start to notice patterns in my life. I notice the things that trigger unhelpful responses.
Act More Freely
When I see differently, I act differently. Contemplative prayer helps me catch- stop, the circular thinking traps that govern most of our lives. My choices are more intentional and less frantic. I see what is important, what needs my attention now- and what can wait.
Live More Presently
Contemplative prayer helps me listen better. I am able to enjoy the moment I am in instead of rehashing the past or anxious about the future. I think I am able to live more the way I was intended to live.
Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear?'… But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. "So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today's trouble is enough for today. (Matt 6)
That is the best reason I know. I don’t think the choice is between those who have enough time for prayer and those who don’t. Contemplative prayer is designed for people with full schedules with lots to do- and want to do more than be busy. For all the reasons above, contemplative prayer helps me be more effective.
Want to Know More?
Our Contemplative Prayer Workshop is Saturday, November 18, from 9:00-11:30 am. It’s free and it’s open to all. Whether you know a little about contemplative prayer or are curious and want to know more, this workshop is for you. You’ll go home with some new perspectives, a few practices to try, and some resources to help if you want to go deeper. To make sure we have enough resources printed, it would help if you would “register”. We’ll meet in what we call the Castle Rock Room. The doors will be open and the coffee ready at 8:45!