Centering Prayer

Be still, and know that I am God Psalm 46:10

What is Centering Prayer?

Centering Prayer is part of a Christian tradition of relating to God beyond words. This is the meaning of “contemplation”, which was described by Gregory the Great as “resting in God”.

Thomas Merton described contemplation as “a practice that is centered entirely on the presence of God. Monastic prayer begins with a return to the heart, finding ones deepest center, awakening the profound depths of ones being”.

Centering Prayer was developed in the 1970s at St. Joseph ‘s Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts by three Trappist Monks: Fr Thomas Keating, Fr William Meninger and Fr Basil Pennington.The focus of Centering Prayer is the deepening of our relationship with the living Christ.

Centering Prayer is a method designed to help us pray contemplatively, and lift our hearts and soul to God.

The Method

We begin with a short prayer, in which we choose our sacred word, which reminds us of God’s presence. This is preferably a word of one or two syllables, such as God, Jesus, Abba, Father, Mother, Amen, Help, Peace, Love. Once we have found our sacred word, we are ready to sit in silence. When thoughts or feelings distract us, we simply return to our sacred word, which is a symbol of our consent to the presence and action of God within us.

Centering Prayer Group

Please contact me for details of the group which I run in Bath, currently online, through St Michael's Church at Monkton Combe

To find out more about Centering Prayer in the UK, visit Contemplative Outreach UK.