Contemplative and Meditation Prayers
"At its core, contemplative prayer is indescribable. However, just as a precious jewel reflects and refracts light in myraid ways as we examine each facet, so we can gain some understanding of contemplative prayer by looking at some "snapshot" descriptions, each of which will help us see it in a slightly different light.
1. Contemplative prayer is an exercise in letting go of the control of our own life that is produced by leaning on the props of the false self. The false self clings to control out of fear. Contemplative prayer means letting go of that fear and giving control to God.
2. Contemplative prayer is a kind of communion intended to increase our intimacy with God and awareness of His presence.
3. Contemplative prayer is a step of submission where we place our being at God's disposal and request His work of purification.
4. Contemplative prayer is opening ourselves up to the Holy Spirit to get in touch with our true selves and to facilitate an abiding state of union with God.
5. Contemplative prayer is an exercise in self-surrender. It teaches us to yield, let go, and not be possessive.
6. Contemplative prayer is a method of exposing and disengaging from the ordinary obstacles to our awareness of God's presence with us. This prayer is not an end, but a beginning.
7. Contemplative prayer is being still in order to know God.
8. Contemplative prayer cultivates our desire to forget ourselves and know God by faith. It is our consent for God's presence and action to take over.
9. Contemplative prayer is a movement beyond conversation; a discipline to foster that leads us into greater faith, hope and love.
10. Contemplative prayer is an exercise in resting in God. It is not a state of suspension of all activity, but the reduction of many acts to a simple act of saying yes to God's presence during a time of inner, quiet, devotional prayer.
11. Contemplative prayer is the trusting and loving faith by which God elevates the human person and purifies the conscious and unconscious obstacles in us that oppose the values of the gospel and the work of the Spirit.
12. Contemplative prayer is an activity aimed at fostering the conviction and realization that God lives in us!
13. Contemplative prayer is an exercise in purifying our intentions to desire only one thing - God. It is an act of love, a desire not for the experience of God, but for God Himself.
14. Contemplative prayer is a discipline that facilitates not only living in God's presence but out of God's presence.
15. Contemplative prayer is a discipline that enables our developing relationship with Jesus Christ to reach stages of growth in union with God."
The way of the yielded heart
The gift of longing
The nobility of barren prayer
Where the desolate find God
Ministry to the Lord
The heart of a psalmist