When we talk about Contemplative Prayer, right off the bat, we need to define our words. When I warn you of the dangers of Contemplative Prayer, what I'm not talking about is meditating on God's Word or contemplating His holy nature and character- which is what Christians are supposed to do! No, I'm talking about the man-made methodologies used as a spiritual exercise to "experience God's presence." In spite of research and warnings from those who watch the trends coming into the modern church, mysticism and New Age prayer practices are increasingly appealing.
We're seeing more prayer labyrinths being constructed, more classes and coaching on how to go "into the silence" to get visions and voices from God, and more how-to books that borrow from those who aren't even born-again Christians. What are these prayer practices, and why should you be concerned? A few years ago I explored those methods Pastor Chris Rosebrough, and we heard directly from those who teach these methods. Listen as Chris compares what they say to what God says.
Chris Rosebrough is the host of the daily radio program, Fighting For The Faith, heard around the world on Pirate Christian Radio, a broadcast group he founded to help Christians discern God’s Word by taking a look at what people say and teach in the name of Jesus and holding it up to the light of Scripture. I'm glad to be a part of his Pirate Crew!
Chris recently did a program titled, The Inventor Of Centering Prayer Teaches Us What It Is For, featuring Thomas Keating, one of the Cistercian monks who explains the theology/spirituality behind the practice and what Centering Prayer is ultimately for. (The same monk who taught Phileena Heuertz - whom we heard from today - how to do Centering Prayer.)
Phileena recently introduced "Gravity," a Center for Contemplative Activism:
According to Centeringprayer.com, here is a definition:
Centering Prayer is a method of silent prayer that prepares us to receive the gift of contemplative prayer, prayer in which we experience God's presence within us, closer than breathing, closer than thinking, closer than consciousness itself.
Please read these:
All About Contemplative Prayer - Berean Research White Paper