Continuous prayer in the fullest sense of the term is present when the motivation of all of our actions is coming from the Spirit.
– Thomas Keating
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I came across this quote while recently reading, “Open Mind, Open Heart” (20th Anniversary Edition) by Thomas Keating. I admit. I have struggled with what it means to pray without ceasing as Paul mentions. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
This quote helped clarify it for me. This is what my centering prayer practice helps me to do. My centering prayer practice teaches me how to pray without ceasing.
During centering prayer I open to God. I let go of all my thoughts, emotions and physical sensations. I let go of me and open to the inner actions of God. During silent prayer I do not know how God acts deep, deep within me.
God acts deeper than my thoughts, my emotions, and my physical sensations. God fills me with what only God knows I need. It is none of my business. I love God. I trust that God knows what to do.
The fruits of my centering prayer are the actions that arise from my practice. What actions has God prayed in me that will be revealed in my outer world? What have I noticed? Let me share a few.
I have noticed I have more patience. I listen to my child, my friend, a co worker without judgment. I want to see and hear things from a different perspective.
I have noticed that I react more calmly to situations when things do not seem to go as I hoped. I let the situation just be. What can I learn from the situation? Many times I do not need to take any action. It seems to resolve itself.
Lastly, I have noticed I do not seem to panic when I have multiple tasks that need to get completed in a short period of time. Some of the tasks really do not need to be done. Some of the tasks are simpler than I originally thought they were.
Life can be one continuous prayer. My centering prayer practice has taught me how to live. My actions are the fruit of silent prayer. Silent prayer and action must work together. God joins the two together. My job is to open to God and trust God’s process.
Open Mind, Open Heart 20th Anniversary Edition by Thomas Keating
Intimacy with God: An Introduction to Centering Prayer by Thomas Keating
Manifesting God by Thomas Keating
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Does this sound like you?
“I am bored with my life?”
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