“True prayer is in the silent depths of the soul.” ~ Augustine
In his 1972 British comedy, The Ruling Class, Peter O’Toole plays a nobleman gone mad--he thinks he’s Jesus. His reasoning is simple: “Whenever I pray I have the most disctinct feeling I’m talking to myself.”
He’s not alone. We’ve been told from our very first days of following Jesus about the importance of prayer. Yet many (most?) believers find prayer burdensome and unfulfilling. Have you ever felt as if you’re talking to yourself? One path to prayer does an end run around the problem: it does away with words. Have you ever tried praying without words? Do away with them! Words spoken and words thought.
Our contemplative brethren refer to it as “centering prayer,” in which it is enough to simply be in God’s presence. It’s true in everyday life: our deepest relationships do not require unending chatter. Being together is enough. It’s also true with our creator.
We are word-hardened, but the Spirit of God transcends our language and our thoughts. In my opinion everyone should practice centering prayer.