When The Soul Listens – Chapter 2 “The Contemplative Way of Prayer” – A Reflection

This chapter really gets down to business and I love it!

She quotes some real legends including the following classics:

“Center all your attention and desire on [the Lord] and let this be the sole concern of your mind and heart… Strive to fix your love on him forgetting all else.” (The Cloud of Unknowing).

“I look at him. He looks at me. And we tell each other that we love each other.” (St. John Vianney).

“Holy Spirit, think through me till your ideas are my ideas.” (Amy Carmichael).

“[It is] nothing more than turning our heart toward God and receiving in turn His love.” (Madame Guyon)

I think that these are wonderful definitions of silent prayer and I’m sure that as you read them here you are motivated to give it a go! I hope so.

This coming Sunday we’ll be starting a series on Spiritual Formation and I reckon that this second chapter will inform much of my preparation!

On the bottom of page 20 the author touches a bit on Spiritual Formation (our theme for the year) commenting that it is, “more caught than taught” – meaning that we are transformed into Christlikeness by connecting with God. This reminds me of what Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 3:18, “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” It is in beholding God that we become like God.

The chapter headings say it all, I think –

Resting, Waiting, and Delighting

Worship

A Lively Longing for God

A Conversational Life with God

An Adventurous Life with God

Give it a read and be blessed!

I’ll end with one of the quotes she has on page 15-16:

“Deeper, wordless contemplation is something that we may experience either in church, in those blessed pauses between words, or in quiet times alone when we cease our words of prayer, put down our Bibles, and realize that God is both very near and familiar and yet beyond all knowing. We feel that we would like to know God so well that we could sit still for an hour in silent companionship, as with an old friend.

Avery Brooke, “What Is Contemplation?” Weavings, July/August 1992, p. 9.

Every blessing,

Pastor Craig.