Silence - Solitude - Service
Kuala Lumpur Chapter, Malaysia
Method of Centering Prayer
We may think of prayer as thoughts or feelings expressed in words. But this is only one expression. In the Christian tradition Contemplative Prayer is considered to be the pure gift of God. It is the opening of mind and heart - our whole being - to God, the Ultimate Mystery, beyond thoughts, words, and emotions. Through grace we open our awareness to God whom we know by faith is within us, closer than breathing, closer than thinking, closer than choosing - closer than consciousness itself.
Centering Prayer is a method designed to facilitate the development of Contemplative Prayer by preparing our faculties to receive this gift. It is an attempt to present the teaching of earlier times in an updated form. Centering Prayer is not meant to replace other kinds of prayer: rather it casts a new light and depth of meaning on them. It is at the same time a relationship with God and a discipline to foster that relationship. This method of prayer is a movement beyond conversation with Christ to communion with Him.
The source of Centering Prayer, as in all methods leading to Contemplative Prayer, is the indwelling Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The focus of Centering Prayer is the deepening of our relationship with the living Christ. It tends to build communities of faith and bond the members together in mutual friendship and love. “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
The Root of Centering Prayer
Listening to the Word of God in Scripture
Listening to the word of God in Scripture (Lectio Divina) is a traditional way of cultivating friendship with Christ. It is a way of listening to the texts of Scripture as if we were in conversation with Christ and He were suggesting the topics of conversation. The daily encounter with Christ and reflection on His word leads beyond mere acquaintanceship to an attitude of friendship, trust, and love. Conversation simplifies and gives way to communing. Gregory the Great (6th century) in summarizing the Christian contemplative tradition expressed it as “resting in God.” This was the classical meaning of Contemplative Prayer in the Christian tradition for the first sixteen centuries.
Wisdom Saying of Jesus
Centering Prayer is based on the wisdom saying of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount: “...But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father, who sees in secret, will repay you.” Matthew 6.6 (New American Bible) It is also inspired by writings of major contributors to the Christian contemplative heritage including John Cassian, the anonymous author of The Cloud of Unknowing, Francis de Sales, Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Thérèse of Lisieux, and Thomas Merton.
Centering Prayer Guidelines
*Thoughts include body sensations, feelings, images, and reflections
Some Practical Points
Points for Further Development
Ways to Deepen Our Relationship with God
What Centering Prayer Is and Is Not
CENTERING PRAYER KUALA LUMPUR CHAPTER
c/o Church of The Good Shepherd
No. 8, Jalan Air Puteh, Setapak
53200 Kuala Lumpur
Tel/Fax : 603-40234786
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org