Protestants: do you have contemplative prayer?

Most of the Protestants I know spend their prayer time either asking petitions or reading Scripture but reading scripture in a much more theological way (if I am making myself understood?)
I have always been in the practice of spending a few minutes every day in “contemplative” or mental prayer or meditation.
What do I mean by this? I DON’T mean meditation in the buddhist sense, I mean more time contemplating Christ- normally through using the scripture or other spiritual books and entering the scenes in my mind, not necessarily with actual words. I don’t mean being “possessed” by the Holy Spirit or anything of the kind just a quiet dialogue in my heart, trying to see Our Lord with the eyes of my heart.

Just wondering if this is a practice common among Protestants as well- if so I’d be interested in seeing a book about it- I’m curious as to whether we actually understand the same thing by contemplative prayer.

Yes, this is known in Protestant circles.Ruth Haley Barton is kind of a well known person who practices this. She used to work for Willow Creek Church. I think this is sometimes called “listening prayer.” There’s a book by Sarah Young called Jesus Calling that may appeal to this kind of spirituality.

There are certain aspects of some ways that some people “do” contemplative prayer that some evangelicals have a problem with because they see it as bringing in Eastern/mystical influences into Christian prayer practices.

When it comes to contemplating the Bible, many evangelicals are drawn to a passage and just chew on that passage for a while. Sometimes it’s just the Holy Spirit illuminating the passage for them.

For this Lutheran, Lutheran hymns fill this role - singing a well loved scriptural hymn can be form of prayer.

Interesting, out of interest, any hymns in particular for you?

Yes, speaking as an Evangelical Christian, we practice contemplative prayer.

A.W. Tozer would be one author with books about it.

With the recent pro-life march still heavy in my heart, “Children of the Heavenly Father” has been my companion for the last few weeks:

Handel’s Messiah for some reason has occupied me - it’s very “Lutheran” (and Catholic!) and was written as apologetics for against the heresy of Deism. It was first played as an Easter offering.

Here’s a good version - it’s quite long (more than 2 hours) but having the words in front of you can make it quite contemplative.

As a former protestant, I would memorize and chant short psalms (such as psalm 23 and 130) as a form of meditation. I still do it today.

Interesting. That can’t be too common among Protestants. What inspired you to take up the practice? What did you use to learn? Which style(s)–Gregorian, Byzantine, Coptic, or other–did you use? :slight_smile:

We are to meditate on Gods word day and night.

Each morning and each evening I “enter into meeting”. I center down and turn my mind to the Light. I seek to know the will of God and “Listen” to “that of God” which indwells each of us.

Each First Day we meet together to enter into the Presence and await His movement among us. As we wait expectantly to “Hear” that Voice…sometimes one among us is moved to offer vocal ministry…or sing…or sometimes offer a vocal prayer in a particularly “Gathered Meeting”. As Be moves among us we Commune with the Risen Christ and each other.

Contemplative prayer? Yes indeed.

The first book printed in the United States was recently sold at auction for $14 million… It was a psalter. Needless to say, Boston was not exactly Catholic in the 17th. century.

The Taize community in France and it’s associated groups around the world practice a form of contemplative prayer. Some of the Taize chants, like Ubi Caritas, are now used here in the UK at least, by Catholics too to help in contemplative prayer.

On a smaller scale the ecumenical Iona Community in Scotland, based in the old Abbey founded by St Columba draws on the traditions of contemplative prayer (although that is not its main focus) I went on retreat to Iona once, although I stayed at a Catholic guest house I also shared in the ecumenical prayer and contemplation liturgies in the Abbey building.

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