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ContemplationMeditation and contemplation are extremely counter-culture (often even counter-church culture) activities requiring persistence over time to become adept, but yield great rewards. One monk described it as ‘wasting time with God’.

Protestant evangelicals can have a particularly difficult time giving themselves permission to be still before the Lord. But what can be more important than spending time enjoying God, when the purpose of all humans is to love God and enjoy him forever?

It may surprise you that for centuries ‘prayer’ referred to contemplation. Our results-based culture has limited our idea of prayer to a list of petitions only. No wonder we find the command ‘pray without ceasing’ to be too far out of reach to even attempt. But when we realise that prayer is happening every time we turn our thoughts toward God, being aware of and including him in our day, we see hope!

As specific times of meditation and contemplation become part of our lifestyle, our overall awareness of God and remembrance of him in all circumstances grows. This becomes prayer ‘without ceasing’, and it is a beautiful way to live.

The ‘Daily Office‘ or ‘Praying the Hours’ practiced by monks and mystics through the ages is taking time aside, three to seven times a day, to become God-aware, ‘wasting’ time with him.  The various elements of reciting Psalms, creeds and prayers were not said or sung only for their own sake, but were meant to draw one more fully into his Presence.

There are a surprising number of ways, both ancient and modern, to develop these life-giving disciplines. Over the next while I will here give simplified descriptions of several. Choose one that seems to suit you, and try it! Get one of the resources listed and commit to giving it a fair shake, practicing (it is a practice!) it for at least a week or two. If it doesn’t seem to be a good fit, try a different one.

Let me know how it goes! May you be blessed as you take time apart with our one true Love.


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One Response to “Prayer, Contemplation and Meditation Simplified for Beginners: Wasting Time with God”

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