Mindful Contemplation

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Centering Prayer

“Centering Prayer is a receptive method of Christian silent prayer which deepens our relationship with God, the Indwelling Presence …  a prayer in which we can experience God’s presence within us, closer than breathing, closer than thinking, closer than consciousness itself.” – contemplativeoutreach.org


Centering prayer is essentially letting go and resting in God. It is also the practice of “releasing” and “receiving” which is a powerful act and a holy pastime. Centering prayer is a deepening practice of surrender to the presence of God. Thomas Keatings described it as “10 thousand opportunities to return to God”.


Brief Guide to Centering Prayer:

  1. Choose a word (or image) as the symbol of your intention to consent to God’s presence and action within.
  2. Set a timer so you don’t have to think about the time (15-30 minutes as you wish)
  3. Sitting comfortably and with eyes closed, settle briefly. Then silently introduce you word as the symbol of your consent to God’s presence and action within.
  4. When you realize that you have become engaged with your thoughts*, return ever-so-gently to your word as an anchor for your intention to consent to God’s presence and action within.
  5. At the end of the prayer period, remain in silence for a couple of minutes, with eyes closed, with a heart of gratitude.


Click on The Method of Centering Prayer for a more complete guide developed by Thomas Keatings and Contemplative Outreach International at contemplativeoutreach.org.