Exploring Contemplative Prayer:
A Nine Month Journey to the Quiet
September to May
(The 2011-2012 series of Exploring Contemplative Prayer is underway. A new series will begin September 2012. Plan now to invite your congregation on this spiritual formation journey. Available for order in the spring.)
Perhaps you've always wanted to find out more about contemplative prayer. Perhaps you are looking for a way to deepen your own prayer life over the coming program year, and want sustained encouragement. Perhaps you'd like to start a contemplative prayer group in your congregation, and would like a user-friendly resource to guide you and a copy-ready resource to share with participants.
Contemplative prayer differs from conversational prayer in that the focus is on silence. Different contemplative prayer methods use silence in various ways, in connection with scripture or simple prayer words or short phrases.
A "Nine Month Journey to the Quiet" will help you explore and experience contemplative prayer. Each month a new method will be introduced. Not all of the prayer practices would be considered contemplative in the classic sense. But they are all ways to pray that take us outside the usual, more conversational approach to prayer, where we do much, if not all, of the talking.
Each month, on the 1st of the month, you will receive an introductory email and online access to a copy-ready PDF document that contains:
- A Welcome Letter
- Background (History & Theology) of the Prayer Practice
- A Step-by-Step Guide for Experiencing Each Prayer Practice
- Suggestions for Exploring the Practice
- A Monthly Journal
- Reflection Questions
Each week, on Monday morning, you will receive an encouraging email that will give more ideas and suggestions for how to engage this prayer practice in a way that is right for you. It's easy to lose momentum or get discouraged. Allow weekly emails to provide you encouragement and focus.
An optional album of recordings to accompany this resource is available from iTunes. Go to the iTunes store and search for "Exploring Contemplative Prayer" under "Music."
- September: Preparing for Prayer*
- October: Breath Prayer
- November: Lectio Divina
- December: Release Prayer
- January: The Prayer of Examen
- February: Contemplative Healing Prayer
- March: Praying with Icons & Images
- April: Centering Prayer
- May: Silent Prayer
*Includes: Prayer Autobiography, Exploring Impediments to Prayer, Finding Time & Space for Prayer, Noticing Resistance
Individual Use: $65
Congregational Use: $195
Includes the nine month series -- online access to monthly PDF documents and weekly emails, as well as year-long (September 1st to August 31st) online access to all Exploring Contemplative Prayer documents. Congregational price includes permission to do the following within your local church setting: 1) Share online access to PDF documents. 2) Copy all printed materials for group and individual use. 3) Forward weekly emails.
Order Exploring Contemplative Prayer
by September 1st:
To experience the full nine month exploration of contemplative prayer, order by September 1st.
**Orders will be taken beginning in the spring for the 2012-2013 series.
Exploring Contemplative Prayer: A Nine Month Journey to the Quiet is written by Tracey Marx, with Robert D. Webber. Tracey Marx is a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) minister, currently working as a writer and spiritual director. She is the creator of Scripture Echo, and the author of Lectionary Liturgy. Robert D. Webber, who contributes the historical and theological background to each practice, is the retired New Testament professor from Lancaster Theological Seminary. He is the co-author of Stretch Out Your Hand: Exploring Healing Prayer. While creating this resource, Tracey and Bob led groups in a local church and ministry training center.
Reaction to Exploring Contemplative Prayer:
“I have a hard time sitting still. If I have to sit and pray very long, forget it!”
That is how I felt until I was introduced to contemplative prayer by Tracey Marx and Bob Webber. This course will guide you into a wonderful world of spiritual practices that help us slow down, relax at the feet of God, and absorb the love, grace, and wisdom that are waiting for us there.
Don Hackett, Associate Pastor
First Presbyterian Church, Lancaster, Pa
Reaction to Exploring Contemplative Prayer:
I feel that this experience was one of the most significant influences in the growth of my prayer life as well as my spiritual development. The way the course was structured to allow considerable time for practice in prayer allowed for great flexibility and growth in learning all the forms of prayer that were taught.
Ezetta Walter, Spiritual Director & Group Participant
Questions? Additional needs? Let us know.