Ever since I first read Richard Foster’s book called Prayer and learned that there were many different ways to pray and connect with God and not just the intercessory approach my evangelical church practiced, I’ve thought that it’s valuable to learn about those other methods. Today’s guest is Rich Lewis who blogs teaches about centering prayer at Silence Teaches. He shares how he discovered the contemplative practice called centering prayer, how he goes about it every day and what the benefits are in his life.
Some of the stories Rich shared with us:
- Growing up in Pennsylvania and the spiritual climate of his childhood
- How leading a small church and leading the youth group helped him grow
- The family issue that moved him to quit his job and led to a dark night of the soul
- The books about Christian mysticism that changed his life
- His daily prayer routine including using a prayer rope and a lectio divina
- A how to on centering prayer
- Sit comfortably
- Choose a word to focus on (i.e. love, peace, joy)
- Close your eyes. As each thought pops up, let it pass and go back to your word and then let it go, too
- Sit for a moment before you leave
- The benefits of centering prayer including feeling much calmer, being full of excitement for life, and finding productive and creative solutions to problems
- How he teaches centering prayer to his kids
Books and resources mentioned by Rich:
- Healing the Divide: Recovering Christianity’s Mystic Roots
- The Big Book of Christian Mysticism: The Essential Guide to Contemplative Spirituality
- The Contemplative Outreach app
Great quotes from Rich:
God is thrilled to have me as his son. And God is really not angry with me. God loves me. God constantly loves me.
I’m in the spaces between my thoughts.
Sit with God. Walk with God.
Sitting with God quietly changes you. It’s wonderful.