Each Tuesday we are inviting you to explore a new prayer practice as part of the experiential calendar. As part of that invitation, we also want to provide resources to help you as you explore those practices. This week, we’re looking at a silent form of prayer called Contemplation. Contemplation has sometimes been viewed as a Christian form of meditation.
Joyce Huggett explains some of the basic steps to help lead to contemplation.
• Enter into a space that can become a quiet prayer place for you.
• Once you enter the space, take time to relax in God’s presence. One of the best ways of doing this is to recognize some of the reasons we are tense: worry, pressure of things to be done, the quarrel we just had with our spouse or colleague. It will be impossible to contemplate until these pressures have been handed over to God.
• Having transferred our burdens to God, this next phase involves becoming aware of the presence of God. Jesus has promised he will never leave us or forsake us. We take time to tun into his presence.
• In the quietness, aware of his presence, we open our hearts to receive his love. This prayer is usually wordless and fed by a deep desire for him.
• This leads us to a place where instead of seeking God, we are found by Him. We discover that, long before we came to a place of prayer, he was seeking us.
• We bask in the warmth of his love. We feel his gaze on us. He gills us afresh with his Spirit. We receive a new perspective on life, HIs perspective.
• As we draw closer to his heart, we sense his concern for the world, and from our contemplation flows intercession as we catch his compassion for a hurting world.
For more information on contemplation (and other spiritual practices), check out this resource by Richard Foster.