This weekend in worship we will hear the plans and aspirations for our permanent sanctuary. A sanctuary is a sacred or holy place. It is a place where we gather as God’s people to encounter God and from which we are sent to be salt and light in the world. According to dictionary.com, a sanctuary can be any place of refuge or safe haven or a tract of land where birds and wildlife, especially those hunted for sport can breed and take refuge in safety from hunters.
Contemplative Christian prayer is a spiritual practice of silence in which we can find refuge from the demands of our daily life and rest in God. Contemplative prayer is silently abiding in the Spirit with the goal being our transformation in Christ. This simply means growing deeper in the love of God and neighbor, so that we might be salt and light in the world. Rev. Dr. Robert Martin, Dean of Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C teaches that contemplative prayer is necessary for incarnational leadership. The Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13:16-17, “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?… For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.” So it makes sense to me that we can also find sanctuary by silently abiding with the Spirit who lives within the sanctuary of our being.
This week I invite you to practice the spiritual discipline of contemplative prayer, or silence. Find your favorite place to sit and imagine God sitting in a rocking chair across from you. All you need to do is show up and say nothing, just be silent. Really, that is all you need to do for twenty minutes three to five times this week. If you are utterly sincere about surrendering to the Godly nature of the present moment, something will happen. It might not happen immediately, but pay attention to what is awakening during the week.
We would to hear about your experience with the discipline of silence. You can join the conversation by leaving a comment on our prayer blog.
–Nancy Pauls, Pastor of Prayer
Click here at www.cor.org/prayervigil to sign up to pray at the 49 hour prayer vigil preceding Commitment Sunday.