Centering Prayer

“The great thing is prayer.  Prayer itself.
If you want a life of prayer, the way to get it is by praying . . .
Everything has been given to us in Christ.
All we need is to experience what we already possess.”
  -Thomas Merton

Centering Prayer is a method of silent prayer which leads to a deeper relationship with God.  It consists of responding to the Spirit of Christ by consenting to God’s presence and action within.  It is not a technique but a way of cultivating a deeper relationship with God.  It 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 reward you”.

All are welcome and encouraged to attend.  We meet from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. every Tuesday night in the Prayer Room on the ground floor of St. John’s.  Since Centering Prayer is a silent discipline, we ask that people arrive before 6:05 PM.

Note:  Should someone arrive late, chairs are provided outside the prayer room until the Lectio Divina reading is finished.

Centering Prayer Guidelines include 1) choosing a sacred word as the symbol of your intention to consent to God’s presence and action within; 2) sitting comfortably with eyes closed, as you silently introduce your sacred word as the symbol of your consent to God’s presence and action within; 3) when engaged with your thoughts, return ever so gently to the sacred word; 4) at the end of the prayer period, remain in silence with eyes closed for a couple of minutes.

Throughout the year, the group offers several “Taste of Silence” mornings where we have a Eucharist or Morning Prayer service and two centering prayer sits.  At least once a year we have a retreat day or workshop day on a Saturday with a guest speaker, provide lunch, and have several opportunities for centering prayer during the day.