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Contemplative Prayer What Is It? And How Is It Done?

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Presentation on theme: "Contemplative Prayer What Is It? And How Is It Done?"— Presentation transcript:

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2 Contemplative Prayer

3 What Is It? And How Is It Done?

4 From Inward Journey © 1991

5 To help the mind become quiet, we can follow our breathing. Or we can repeat silently a chosen prayer phrase or a word. Inward Journey © 1991 p. 29 Marilyn Norquist Gustin

6 WHEN THE SOUL LISTENS By Jan Johnson NAVPRESS © 1999

7 AN ANCIENT PRACTICE Contemplative prayer, in its simplest form, is prayer in which you still your thoughts … this puts you in a better state to be aware of God’s presence, and it makes you better able to hear God’s voice correcting, guiding, and directing you. When the Soul Listens By Jan Johnson NAVPRESS © 1999

8 In the beginning, it is usual to feel nothing but a cloud of unknowing. In the beginning, it is usual to feel nothing but a cloud of unknowing. … this unknowing will be unnerving. … this unknowing will be unnerving. When the Soul Listens By Jan Johnson NAVPRESS © 1999

9 THE DESERT FATHERS The meditation practices and rules for living of these earliest Christian monks bear strong similarity to those of their Hindu and Buddhist renunciate brethren several kingdoms to the East. While Jesus and his teachings were their inspiration, the meditative techniques they adopted for finding their God suggest either a borrowing from the East or a spontaneous rediscovery. The ways of the Desert Fathers influenced Christian monasticism to this day. Daniel Goleman The Meditative Mind © 1988

10 How Popular Is Contemplative Prayer?

11 …silence, appropriate body posture and, above all, emptying the mind through repetition of prayer – have been the practices of mystics in all the great world religions. And they form the basis on which most modern spiritual directors guide. Newsweek January 6, 1992

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13 Throughout human history, individuals have been called to accompany others seeking the Mystery we name God. In this time, Spiritual Directors International responds to this call by tending the holy around the world and across traditions. Mission Statement Spiritual Directors International

14 SDI Courses and Classes Spiritual Practice in Various Faith Traditions Spiritual Practice in Various Faith Traditions Building a Bridge to Buddhism Building a Bridge to Buddhism Ignatian Exercises and Ecology/Cosmology: Ignatian Exercises and Ecology/Cosmology: Spiritual Exercises Spiritual Exercises The Enneagram and Kabbalah The Enneagram and Kabbalah The Sacred Labyrinth: A New Spiritual Paradigm The Sacred Labyrinth: A New Spiritual Paradigm Earth Prayer: Celebrating the Interconnection of all Living Beings Earth Prayer: Celebrating the Interconnection of all Living Beings Trans-Faith Spirituality Trans-Faith Spirituality

15 Spiritual Directors International Statistics Australia 87 Australia 87Canada 205England 50Ireland 20 New Zealand 27 South Africa 10 Philippines 17 United Stated 4273

16 Apostolic Catholic 2 Apostolic Catholic 2 Baptist (American/Southern) 48 Baptist (American/Southern) 48 Brethren 6 Brethren 6 Buddhist 2 Buddhist 2 Christian Alliance 2 Christian Alliance 2 Church of England/Anglican 56 Church of England/Anglican 56 Congregational 4 Congregational 4 Disciples Christ 26 Disciples Christ 26 Ecumenical 5 Ecumenical 5 Episcopalian 550 Episcopalian 550 Evangelical 2 Evangelical 2 Evangelical Covenant 5 Evangelical Covenant 5 Independent Catholic 8 Independent Catholic 8 Interdenominational 6 Interdenominational 6 Interfaith 21Jewish 21 Lutheran (ELCA) 120 Lutheran (ELCA) 120 Mennonite 48Nazarene 2 New Thought 2 Non-denominational 24Presbyterian 201Protestant 4Quaker 33 Reform Church in America/Reformed 10 Roman Catholic 2156 Unitarian/Universal 24 United Church of Christ 93 United Church of Christ 93 United Methodist 149 United Methodist 149 Affiliation/Denomination See

17 Richard J. Foster Founder of Renovare’

18 We should all, without shame, enroll in the school of contemplative prayer. Richard Foster Richard Foster Celebration of Discipline

19 Ruth Haley Barton Quotes taken from Discipleship Journal Vol Former associate director of spiritual formation Willow Creek Community Church

20 A few years ago, I began to recognize an inner chaos in my soul … I sought out a spiritual director, someone well versed in the ways of the soul … [the spiritual director] said to me, … “What you need is stillness and silence …” “What you need is stillness and silence …”

21 Our reliance on words – even in our praying – even in our praying – is often just another way we strive to maintain control … We open ourselves to what God wants to give. Prayer without words is not so much about expressing our dependence on God, but rather experiencing it.

22 Ask for a simple prayer to express your willingness to meet God in the silence … a simple statement … such as “Here I am.” …Help yourself return to your original intent by repeating the prayer that you have chosen. Ruth Haley Barton Quotes taken from Discipleship Journal Vol Former associate director of spiritual formation Willow Creek Community Church

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24 The spiritual climate is ripe. Jesus seekers across the world are being prepared to abandon the old way of the written code for the new way of the Spirit. The spiritual climate is ripe. Jesus seekers across the world are being prepared to abandon the old way of the written code for the new way of the Spirit. In the past year he [David Benner] and I have become friends. Our hearts are meeting as we realize we are walking a similar journey. In the past year he [David Benner] and I have become friends. Our hearts are meeting as we realize we are walking a similar journey. Readers of this book … will be better equipped to join the revolution of leaving the old way behind. Readers of this book … will be better equipped to join the revolution of leaving the old way behind. Larry Crabb The foreword to David Benner’s book, Sacred Companions

25 Brennan Manning

26 “Grabbing aholt” of God is the goal of contemplative prayer. That is why the first step in faith is to stop thinking about God at the time of prayer.

27 Choose a single, sacred word or phrase … Without moving your lips, repeat the sacred word inwardly, slowly and often. Brennan Manning The Signature of Jesus

28 WHAT IS THE FRUIT OF CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER?

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30 The Two Pillars of Contemplative Spirituality God as the Ground of all that is and … God as the Ground of all that is and … becoming conscious of what is already there … becoming conscious of what is already there … William Shannon Silence on Fire

31 WHAT IS PANENTHEISM God is in all things. The universe and all life are connected in a sum. This sum is the total reality of God. Thus, man, animals, plants and all physical matter are seen as equal. The assumption – all is one; therefore all is deity.

32 Contemplative prayer is nothing other than coming into consciousness of what is already there. Brennan Manning Signature of Jesus ©1996

33 For you [Lucifer] have said in your heart: … I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High. Isaiah 14

34 Satan is not simply trying to draw people to the dark side of a good versus evil conflict. Actually, he is trying to eradicate the gap between himself and God, between good and evil, altogether. Ray Yungen A Time of Departing © 2002

35 Contemplative Prayer is an esoteric tradition.

36 For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God. Acts 20: 27

37 And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Matthew 6:7

38 Prayer is a personal relationship with God.

39 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

40 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." Romans 8:15

41 This material is copyrighted. You may use this in presentations, as hand-outs or in any form but we ask that you cite this properly as the research of Ray Yungen. Thank you and God bless. This material is copyrighted. You may use this in presentations, as hand-outs or in any form but we ask that you cite this properly as the research of Ray Yungen. Thank you and God bless.


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