Contemplation : Only the Crucified Are Truly Alive
Overview - CONTEMPLATION teaches readers about the ancient practice of Christian silent prayer and its modern introductory form, centering prayer. Contemplative prayer has been part of Christian practice since the days of the early Church; the author traces the practice to Jesus and to the Jewish religious practices of the centuries before Jesus. Read more...
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More About Contemplation by Gary Michael Hassig
CONTEMPLATION teaches readers about the ancient practice of Christian silent prayer and its modern introductory form, centering prayer. Contemplative prayer has been part of Christian practice since the days of the early Church; the author traces the practice to Jesus and to the Jewish religious practices of the centuries before Jesus. He also explores various aspects of contemplative spirituality such as lectio divina, an ancient scripture meditation practice. Unlike most books on the subject of contemplative prayer which come from the Catholic background and perspective, CONTEMPLATION is written by an Evangelical, for Evangelicals, but with a love for the ancient traditions of Christianity and a view to the healing of the whole Church and the coming together of Catholics, Protestants and Orthodox believers in one strong, free, grace-filled, Spirit-controlled, loving Church under the leadership of Christ. CONTEMPLATION is all about more of God--about knowing him more deeply. Perhaps you have come to the place in life where, despite all the blessings that come with following Christ, you really want more of God than what you've experienced. There's a hunger that can't be filled by Christian music or Bible reading or anything else. And perhaps you have started to recognize that maybe that's not a lack of thankfulness, but that it's God himself stirring up that deeper longing in you, spurring you on to find a greater depth in your relationship with him than you've seen before. Worship, prayer, and other spiritual activities can bring you to a point of closeness to God, but they leave you at God's doorstep, which still feels much too far away from him. And you begin to realize there's a difference between the things of God, and God himself. You cry out to God for more. Not more things or even more blessings. There's a hunger that nothing but God himself can fill; nothing but more of God will do. And again, you may recognize that this desire is coming, not from you, but from the Spirit of God. That's exactly the place many throughout history have come to: a deep spiritual hunger. At some point in history, centuries before Christ, someone was perhaps meditating on what it means to wait on God, and realized something profoundly powerful. They found that they could just sit in God's presence and direct their longing to him, ignoring all sensory input and their own thoughts, desires and feelings--and after a while, something happened deep within. They couldn't quite put it into words, but they knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that it was from God. And they discovered that if they did this on a regular basis, God changed them. They learned the deepest type of relationship with God available to humanity--contemplation--and the knowledge of God beyond words, beyond thought, beyond all concepts: what many in the ancient Church called "knowing God as he is in himself." If you're content to just sit in a church pew, doing all the conventional things Christians do, leaving it to others to step out of the boat and walk on the water with Jesus, this book is not for you. But if the words of the worship songs echo an emptiness in you, a deep hunger for more of God--even though you know the Lord--then prayerfully consider the way of contemplation and the way of absolute surrender characterized by the words: "Only the crucified are truly alive."
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