Why Is Silent Prayer Powerful

I became aware of how powerful Centering Prayer was because it was a container for my consenting to not only God’s presence in my life, but also God’s action in my life.
Carl J. Arico [1]

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Silent prayer is a special time. It is our time to sit with God. It is like when we sit quietly with a friend. No words need to be said.

Silent prayer is the time for us to get out of the way! We ever so gently “let go” and open to the great Presence. It can be helpful to have a special place to retreat to during silent prayer. I begin my day with silent prayer. I make my way to the basement. I sit on a couch. It is here that I start my day.

On a workday, in the early afternoon, I get up from my work desk and walk to my car. (It does not matter how busy I am.) I sit in the driver’s seat. I might crack a window or open the sunroof. I sit in silence with God.

If I am not able to take an afternoon sit, I make room for an evening sit. My evening sit is also in the basement. I will sit on the same couch as my morning sit.

I need both sits. The morning sit prepares me for the day. The afternoon or evening sit recharges me for the remainder of the day.

What happens while we sit? God acts deep, deep within us. We may not even know it. But it happens.  God will do a great work within us. This work is unique and specially tailored just for you.

I leave my sit a new person! Silent prayer is not a sprint. It is a marathon. My job is to trust God each time I sit. Let God work!

I seem to recognize the fruits of God’s work during the non silent portions of the day. If I do not notice them, someone else might too.

I might be more calm and relaxed. I might have inner peace. I might find a solution to a problem I have struggled with. I might finish tasks that before I was not able to complete. I might reach out to a person who simply needs a listening ear. I might volunteer at the local soup kitchen. I might notice things I previously did not see.

I highly recommend that you take time to be silent each day. Sit with God. Open to the presence of God. God will act in you.

[1] Carl J. Arico, A Taste of Silence: Centering Prayer And The Contemplative Journey, (Lantern Books: 2015)

Go Further:

Centering Prayer is a silent prayer practice that can move you toward a profound relationship with the Spirit of God within. It is a way of praying that opens the door to the Divine Indwelling—the ground of our being. With Centering Prayer, Father Thomas Keating and his colleagues Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler and Father Carl Arico present the first online course in this method for deepening your intimacy with God and ultimately consenting to the presence and action of the Divine in all aspects of your life.

Contemplative Discernment by Fr. Carl Arico, Pamela Begeman, Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler: A contemplative practice of discernment is not about decision-making, although this may be an eventual outcome. Rather, contemplative discernment is receptive in nature, a process of opening to receive clues about who we are in God. We focus on ever-deepening levels of relationship and trust in God’s will for us. We learn how to listen deeply to our motivations and sort through and purify any mixed motivations. As this relationship deepens, we learn to allow the love of God to motivate our actions and manifest through us. We discover what it means to truly pray “not my will, but Thy will.”

Enjoy my review of A Taste of Silence by Carl J. Arico

Be Still and Listen: Experience the Presence of God in Your Life  by Amos Smith (Kindle is currently $6.99.)

Thomas Keating, Open Mind, Open Heart 20th Anniversary Edition

Thomas Keating, Intimacy with God: An Introduction to Centering Prayer

Thomas Keating, Manifesting God



Centering Prayer as Practice and Process by Contemplative Outreach, Pamela Begeman, Mary Anne Best, Julie Saad: If you are new to Centering Prayer or wishing to renew your practice, this retreat will assist you with deepening your relationship with God. We will focus on teaching and practicing the method of Centering Prayer; review its place in the Christian tradition, its conceptual background, and psychological process; and share insights into establishing Centering Prayer as a way of life.

Lean In, Lighten Up and Let Go Practices for a Deeper Commitment to the Contemplative Life by Contemplative Outreach, Mary Dwyer: This retreat encourages a life of prayer and practice, both “on the chair” and in daily life. It will support you in making a deeper commitment to your relationship with God, and strengthen your ability to live the contemplative life through dedication to prayer and practice, all within the normal routines of everyday life.

Embracing Living: The Welcoming Prayer by Contemplative Outreach, Mary Dwyer, Therese Saulnier, Cherry Haisten, Jim McElroy: The Welcoming Prayer is a method of consenting to God’s presence and action in our physical and emotional reactions to events and situations in daily life. If Centering Prayer (or another daily prayer) is practiced for one hour of the day, the Welcoming Prayer is for the other 23 hours. It is a “letting go” in the present moment, in the midst of the activity of ordinary life.

Drawing from the wisdom of monastic life, modern psychology and best practices in personal productivity, the Monk Manual provides a daily system that will help you find clarity, purpose, wisdom, and peace in the moments that make up your life.

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