Contemplative Prayer

Prayer is Communicating and Being with God

My grandmother, one of my favorite people on the planet, was also a professional level talker. In her younger years, she could gab non-stop for 30 minutes or more without taking a  breath. My grandfather was the strong silent talk. They regularly had bridge club at their house and in order to not get angry at each other they came up with a system: if my grandfather wanted to say anything he would kick her under the table. She would be quiet for a minute so he could talk. 


If prayer is simply communicating with God it involves talking, listening and being with your loved on. I was use to the talking part in prayer.  Before I learned about contemplative prayer my prayer life sounded much like my grandmother at bridge club. Dear God, Help me with this and this and this and this. It was like I was giving God a honey-do-list.  With all my wordy request thankfully God didn't kick me under the table. 


Finding contemplative prayer has exploded my prayer life. Whereas at once it was hard to find much to talk about now the possibilities of talking, listening, and hanging out are endless.


Types of Contemplative Prayer

Lectio Divina

A way of reading scripture or other holy books where we let go of what we think it means and open our self to what God wants to say to us using the scripture. 

Guided Meditation

Our God is a creative God who wants to interact with us in creative ways. Guided meditation is using our imagination to experience God in a playful way. 

Contemplative Reflection

A way of wrestling with God about what we believe or think. This is a thinking prayer. 

Examen

A form of prayer in which we examine our life in light of God's love. Involves looking at each day or a set period of time and seeing when we are moving closer to God and when we are moving further away. 

Body Prayer & Breath Prayer

This includes a wide array of prayers from walking the labyrinth, to breath prayer, to a body sculpture exercise with scripture, to being more aware of our body and it's feelings.

Centering Prayer

Described as the prayer where we experience God near us.