Centering Prayer

Centering prayer is about being silent and receptive before God, usually after reflecting on  the next Sunday’s readings from the Lectionary.


Centering prayer is sitting quietly and comfortably with the Lord. Imagine going for a casual walk in the park with a friend, settling together on a bench. Neither of you has much to say: you are sitting with someone you love and who loves you. Then let go of this imaginative scene. Don’t picture anything; sit, loving and being loved. When the mind wanders, be prompted back by a prepared Sacred Word of your choice. Don’t force anything; don’t say anything: this is Centering.


Centering prayer is letting go into deep, waiting. Respond to God’s silence with your silence. Just let God love you as Elijah in the cave, as thunder, lightening, wind and rain have been beating down: he is hearing God’s still, small voice and he is a bit afraid, but he is mostly in awe of the wonder of God’s silence, compassion and mercy. All he can do is offer himself   and  his total submission to God and receptivity to whatever God has in mind for him: this is Centering.


Centering Prayer is a receptive practice.  Thomas Keating’s Open Mind Open Heart’ is the usual reference text for best practice. You may also be interested in the concentrative practice of a mantra, in the school of John Main and the World Community of Christian Meditation.


To find out more, you are welcome to join us on Thursdays 10.30am to 11.30am during Advent and Lent at St James’ Priory Bristol, or outside these seasons, at the same time and day, by joining the person with the half-hour timer at the back of the Church.