Centering Prayer: An Oasis for Your Soul
Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! –– Psalm 46:10
How long has it been since you intentionally put away your electronics and simply sat in a chair, listening to the stillness of a quiet room? How long since you muted your phone and your music and drove—in complete silence?
Entering such bubbles of quietude may feel as shocking as diving into a chilly pool; most of us have grown accustomed, and perhaps even addicted, to the barrage of beeps and messages provided by our personal devices. Living with smartphones, computers, playlists, electronic games, and streamed entertainment, we overlook that a healthy mind needs periods of uninterrupted focus and time to ponder. Likewise, the soul craves retreat from the frenetic activity and anxiety of modern life.
Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, Jesus said to his disciples, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” –– Mark 6:31
Where can you find a truly restful oasis to wait upon the Lord? At St. Philip’s, you can explore the deeply liberating silence during our time of centering prayer (also known as contemplative prayer). Sitting in a circle, we close our eyes and place ourselves at the feet of our Lord Jesus Christ; the aim is to release all temporal concerns and focus entirely upon His love, His word, and His surrounding presence. The time of silence lasts 30 minutes, followed by a short opportunity for sharing. There is power in seeking the Lord in community. Participants leave feeling calm, restored, and reassured of God’s abiding goodness.
The Thursday morning group has grown to about a dozen members; starting in March, an additional session will be added on Tuesdays. The meetings last exactly one hour, beginning and ending promptly:
Tuesdays at 11:00 a.m. in the Prayer Room (beginning March 3)
Thursdays at 8:00 a.m. in the Choir Room (second floor of the Ministries Hall, church office building)
For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken. –– Psalm 62:1-2
Attendees share this about the fruits of their practice:
Centering Prayer has enabled me to have a much richer and deeper understanding of being one with the Holy Spirit. I often “float” through the day after our prayer sessions. And throughout the week I try to live through example of what I learned in our Centering Prayer, and it has made such a difference in all of my relationships. I’ve also learned firsthand that through suffering we become closer to God. It is that complete confidence in Him that He is in control, not I, that gives me strength and belief in the future. I wouldn’t give up this time for anything! — A.B.D.
During Centering Prayer, I give my mind a break from all my worries and concerns. During that quiet time with the Lord, I am more at peace and relaxed. It is like unloading a heavy pack that I have been carrying, filled with the weight of my thoughts, worries, and concerns. It has made me more aware of all the thoughts I need to let go, more aware of the worries and concerns I need to turn over to the Lord. — W.J.W.
Centering Prayer has been transformational in my life over the last two years. It has helped me to quiet the “monkey” mind and build a stronger relationship with God. It is a wonderful addition to other forms of worship such as Bible studies, prayer groups, and church services.— M.M.W.
If you would like to sign up or learn more, please contact the group leader, Pringle Franklin, at firstname.lastname@example.org.