Centering Prayer is a method of prayer that prepares our faculties to receive the gift of God´s presence, traditionally called contemplative prayer. It consists of responding to the Spirit of Christ by consenting to God´s presence and action within.
Centering Prayer facilitates the movement from more active modes of prayer into a receptive prayer of resting in God. It is at the same time a relationship with God and a discipline to foster that relationship.
Centering Prayer is based on the wisdom saying of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount:
"...But when you 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."
Centering Prayer is drawn from ancient prayer practices of the Christian contemplative heritage, notably the Mothers and Fathers of the Desert tradition, and Lectio Divina (praying the scriptures). It is also inspired by the writings of major contributors to the Heritage such as the anonymous author of The Cloud of Unknowing, and the writings of St. John of the Cross, St. Teresa of Avila and Thomas Merton, among many others.
Centering Prayer does not take the place of other prayer and devotions. Rather it may deepen the experience of other forms of worship by offering a way of quieting our faculties and preparing us to be more receptive to God´s presence. You will find more information about Centering Prayer on the Contemplative Outreach website. As well there are many books written on the subject of centering prayer. For a sampling of titles, please navigate to the Bookstore page and click on either U.S. and Canada Residents or International Residents.
To learn where Contemplative Outreach Centering Prayer groups are located, please click on the relevant Province on the "Contacts & Links" page.
"If you want to pray, enter your inner room, lock the door and pray to your Father in secret. Your Father, who hears in secret, will reward you"
- Matthew 6:6
"Our greatest need is to be silent before this great God, with the appetite and with the tongue, for the only language He hears is the silent language of love."
- St. John of the Cross, 'Letter 8,' The Letters