Contemplative Prayer vs Biblical Prayer

Found this on a website when doing a search on contemplative prayer and biblical prayer…I highly suggest reading this to get more of an understanding between the differences of true biblical prayer and what is being passed off today in the church called “contemplative prayer”…

Contemplative Prayer vs Biblical Prayer by Christian A. Narloch

http://www.earnestlycontend.com/cp.html

***************************************************

The institutional church is being deceived by ministers that call themselves christians, who are also deceived by the devil, and have introduced damnable heresies as if they are biblical and acceptable teachings…Wikipedia says this about Centering Prayer (aka, Contemplative Prayer).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centering_Prayer

“Contemplative prayer is a popular method of contemplative prayer, placing a strong emphasis on interior silence.

Though most authors trace its roots to the contemplative prayer of the Desert Fathers of early Christian monasticism, to the Lectio Divina tradition of Benedictine monasticism, and to works like The Cloud of Unknowing and the writings of St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross, its origins as part of the “Centering Prayer” movement in modern Catholicism and Christianity can be traced to several books published by three Trappist monks of St. Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts in the 1970s: Fr. William Meninger, Fr. M. Basil Pennington and Abbot Thomas Keating.[1]

History

Aside from this anonymous author, seeds of what would become known as contemplation were sown early in the Christian era. The first appearance of something approximating contemplative prayer arises in the 4th century writings of the monk St. John Cassian, who wrote of a practice he learned from the Desert Fathers (specifically from Isaac). Cassian’s writings remained influential until the medieval era, when monastic practice shifted from a mystical orientation to Scholasticism. Thus it can be plausibly argued that contemplation was (one of) the earliest meditational and/or devotional practice of Christian monasticism, being later supplanted in dominance by the scholastic theologians, with only a minimal interest in contemplation.

The Trappist monk and influential writer Thomas Merton was strongly influenced by Buddhist meditation, particularly as found in Zen – he was a lifetime friend of Buddhist meditation master and Vietnamese monk and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh, and was also an acquaintance of the current Dalai Lama. His theology attempted to unify existentialism with the tenets of the Roman Catholic faith, a unique undertaking – Christian existentialism is usually regarded as a feature of Protestant theology. As such he was also an advocate of the non-rational meditation of contemplative prayer, which he saw as a direct confrontation of finite and irrational man with his ground of being.

Practice

The actual practice of centering prayer is not entirely alien, at least to Catholics, who are advised to meditate in some form daily – usually on the rosary or on the more structured practice of lectio divina. It is essentially identical to the practice of hesychasm as understood in the Eastern Orthodox Church. Note: While there is a similarity in praxis, i.e., short repetitive prayers, and underlying theology, apophatic theology via negativa, to describe centering prayer as almost identical to hesychasm is somewhat inaccurate. The purpose of centering prayer is to clear the mind of rational thought in order to focus on the indwelling presence of God, whereas hesychasm seeks to descend with the mind into the heart to “see” the energies of God which appear as “uncreated light”.

Basil Pennington, one of the best known proponents of the centering prayer technique, has delineated the guidelines for centering prayer:[2]

1. Sit comfortably with your eyes closed, relax, and quiet yourself. Be in love and faith to God.
2. Choose a sacred word that best supports your sincere intention to be in the Lord’s presence and open to His divine action within you (i.e. “Jesus”, “Lord,” “God,” “Savior,” “Abba,” “Divine,” “Shalom,” “Spirit,” “Love,” etc.).
3. Let that word be gently present as your symbol of your sincere intention to be in the Lord’s presence and open to His divine action within you.
4. Whenever you become aware of anything (thoughts, feelings, perceptions, images, associations, etc.), simply return to your sacred word, your anchor.

Ideally, the prayer will reach the point where the person is not engaged in their thoughts as they arrive on their stream of consciousness. This is the “unknowing” referenced in the 14th century book.

One of the references used in wikipedia for this was “Thomas Merton: Zen and the Birds of Appetite.”

Thomas Merton was a Monk that was influenced by Buddism who also practiced contemplative prayer…John Crowder follows this mystical new age monk, Thomas Merton, teachings on contemplative prayer. He also follows teachings from spanish mystic St. John of the Cross and Catholic mystic Madame Guyon. Here is a quote from Wikipedia about St. John the Cross:

Saint John of the Cross (San Juan de la Cruz) (24 June 1542 – 14 December 1591), born Juan de Yepes Alvarez, was a major figure of the Counter-Reformation, a Spanish mystic, and Carmelite friar and priest, born at Fontiveros, a small village near Ávila.

Saint John of the Cross was a reformer of the Carmelite Order and is considered, along with Saint Teresa of Ávila, as a founder of the Discalced Carmelites. He is also known for his writings. Both his poetry and his studies on the growth of the soul are considered the summit of mystical Spanish literature and one of the peaks of all Spanish literature. He was canonized as a saint in 1762 by Pope Benedict XIII. He is one of the thirty-three Doctors of the Church. When his feast day was inserted into the General Roman Calendar in 1738, it was assigned at first to 24 November, since his date of death was impeded by the then existing octave of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. This obstacle was removed in 1955 and in 1969 his feast day was moved to his date of death, 14 December.

Thomas Merton called John of the Cross the greatest of all mystical theologians.

The Carmelite Order: The Order of the Brothers of Our Lady of Mount Carmel or Carmelites (sometimes simply Carmel by synecdoche; Latin: Ordo fratrum Beatæ Virginis Mariæ de monte Carmelo) is a Roman Catholic religious order founded in the 12th century on Mount Carmel, whence the order receives its name. Saint Bertold has traditionally been associated with the founding of the order, but few clear records of early Carmelite history have survived and this is likely to be a later invention by hagiographers

The charism, or spiritual focus, of the Carmelite Order is contemplative prayer. The Order is considered by the Church to be under the special protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary and thus has a strong Marian devotion. As in most of the orders dating to medieval times, the First Order is the friars (who are active/contemplative), the Second Order is the nuns (who are cloistered) and the Third Order consists of laypeople who continue to live in the world, and can be married, but participate in the charism of the order by liturgical prayers, apostolates (ministries), and contemplative prayer. There are also offshoots such as active Carmelite sisters.

A website says about Madame Guyon http://logosresourcepages.org/Believers/guyon.htm

The writings of Madame Guyon (1648-1717) are very popular today in evangelical, charismatic, and ecumenical circles. Guyon was a Roman Catholic who had visions and other mystical experiences and wrote about them in her published works.

Guyon claimed that she went through a series of spiritual states through her mystical experiences. The first, which she called “union of the powers,” lasted eight years. During this time, she felt drawn to God alone and drawn away from people. The second state, which she called “mystical death,” lasted seven years, during which she had a feeling of detachment from God and was plagued with deep mental depression and thoughts of hell and judgment. She frequently had dark, weird dreams, which she considered a form of revelation. In the third state, which she called “the apostolic state,” she claimed that she was absorbed into and united with God. During this time, she preached, but she did not preach the gospel; she preached mystical experiences.

As she fasted to the extreme and often went without sleep, her mystical experiences increased. She experienced what she thought was union with the essence of God. She had mental delusions or demonic visitations such as envisioning “horrible faces in blueish light.” She went into trances, which would leave her unable to speak for days. During some trances, she wrote things that she believed were inspired (Guyon, An Autobiography, p. 321-324). She claimed that she and La Combe could communicate with one another for hours without speaking verbally. She believed she could speak in the language of angels.

In 1688, Madame Guyon was arrested on heresy charges and imprisoned in a convent for several months

THE ERRORS OF MADAME GUYON

There are some correct and helpful insights in Madame Guyon’s writings, but taken as a whole they are unscriptural and dangerous. Following are some of the errors:

1. SHE EMPHASIZED THE SURRENDER OF HERSELF TO THE CATHOLIC CHURCH WITHOUT RESERVATION.

Madam Guyon spoke of her goal as “perfect obedience to the will of the Lord, submission to the church” (Guyon, Autobiography). She was referring, of course, to the Catholic Church.

2. SHE FOCUSED ON HAVING AN EXPERIENCE OF GOD RATHER THAN KNOWING HIM BY FAITH THROUGH THE BIBLE.

This is the essence of mysticism. To the contrary, though, the Lord Jesus exalted faith over sight and experience (Jn. 20:29). Paul said “we walk by faith not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7). And faith only comes from the Word of God (Rom. 10:17). It does not come from within or from experiences. Madame Guyon was not Bible centered in her Christian walk, and that is a grave and fatal error.

3. SHE WARNED AGAINST “CRITICAL” EXAMINATION OF SPIRITUAL THINGS.

In the introduction to her book on prayer, Madame Guyon says, “Beloved reader, read this little book with a sincere and honest spirit. Read it in lowliness of mind WITHOUT THE INCLINATION TO CRITICIZE. If you do, you will not fail to reap profit from it.”

That is extremely dangerous and unscriptural. Everything is to be proven by the Bible (Isaiah 8:20; Acts 17:21; 1 Thess. 5:21; 1 John 4:1). If we do not test everything carefully by the Word of God, we are open to spiritual deception (2 Cor. 12:1-4). Jesus warned that we must not allow anyone to deceive us (Matt. 24:4).

4. SHE EMPLOYED PAGAN METHODS OF EMPTYING THE MIND IN MEDITATION AND PRAYER.

Note the following quote from Madame Guyon:

“May I hasten to say that the kind of prayer I am speaking of is not a prayer that comes from your mind. It is a prayer that begins in the heart . . . . Prayer offer to the Lord from your mind simply would not be adequate. Why? Because your mind is very limited. The mind can pay attention to only one thing at a time. Prayer that comes out of the heart is not interrupted by thinking” (Guyon, Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ).

One of the types of prayer taught by Madame Guyon was a form of meditation whereby the soul is emptied of all self-desire and interest and passively awaits possession by God. This is exactly like Hinduism.

Contrast 1 Peter 5:8, which says the believer is to be sober and vigilant, continually alert for spiritual danger. The Bible does not say the mind is not to be employed in prayer. To the contrary, the believer is to gird up the mind (1 Pet. 1:13). We are to watch in prayer (Col. 4:2). That describes a use of the mind. We are to love the Lord with all our hearts AND all our minds (Lk. 10:27). The Bible does not play the heart against the mind as Madame Guyon did. In fact, the two are often used synonymously in scripture.

5. SHE LOOKED FOR GOD WITHIN HERSELF, RATHER THAN WITHOUT.

In her book on prayer, Madame Guyon says, “God is, indeed found with facility, when we seek Him within ourselves.” In her autobiography, Guyon says that when she was 19 years old, a Catholic Franciscan monk told her, “It is, madame, because you seek without what you have within. Accustom yourself to seek God in your heart, and you will there find Him.” She was a Roman Catholic and she did not confess to a scriptural salvation experience. Instead, she started from that point forward looking within herself for God and truth. She prayed, “O my Lord, Thou wast in my heart, and demanded only a simple turning of my mind inward, to make me perceive Thy presence. Oh, Infinite Goodness! how was I running hither and thither to seek Thee, my life was a burden to me, although my happiness was within myself. … Alas! I sought Thee where Thou wert not, and did not seek Thee where thou wert. It was for want of understanding these words of Thy Gospel, ‘The kingdom of God cometh not with observation . . . The kingdom of God is within you.’”

Madame Guyon often misused Scripture, and she did so in this case with Luke 17:21. Jesus was addressing the unsaved Pharisees, and He certainly was not saying that the kingdom of God was inside of them. He was saying, rather, that the kingdom of God was right there in the midst of them, because He, the King, was there presenting Himself as the Messiah and working miracles.

Jesus taught us to pray to God in Heaven, not to God inside of us (Matt. 6:9).

6. SHE BELIEVED IN SINLESS PERFECTION.

Madame Guyon believed that her mystical experiences would “devour all that was left of self” and that she would be rid of “troublesome faults” (Guyon, p. 73).

To the contrary, the great apostle Paul, who called himself “the chief of sinners,” testified that in himself “dwelleth no good thing” (Rom. 7:18). We are taught in Scripture that the sin nature is not removed after salvation (1 John 1:8-10), and if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves.

7. SHE BELIEVED SHE COULD ACHIEVE A COMPLETE UNION WITH GOD, AN ABSORPTION INTO GOD.

Madame Guyon said: “So was my soul lost in God, who communicated to it His qualities, having drawn out of it all that it had of its own.” She spoke of being plunged “wholly into God’s own divine essence” (Guyon, p. 239).

This is a pagan concept that has no basis in Scripture. The believer is a child of God, but he is not absorbed into God and does note partake of his divine essence. Only Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, can say that He is one with and of the same essence with God. Christ alone dwells in the light “which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see” (1 Tim. 6:15). In Revelation 22:3, in the New Heaven and New Earth, the Bible says that God is still God and “his servants shall serve him.” God is God, and though the believer is His child through Christ, he is not God and never will be. When 1 Peter 1:4 speaks of being a “partaker of the divine nature,” it refers to partaking of God’s moral qualities, which is what the Bible means when it speaks of man as made in the image of God. Adam was made in God’s image morally, as an upright being in whom was no sin. 1 Peter 1:4 refers to the same thing as Ephesians 4:24, “put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” and Colossians 3:10, “put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.”

8. SHE SPENT HER LIFE LOOKING WITHIN HERSELF AND SEEKING MYSTICAL EXPERIENCES RATHER THAN OBEYING THE GREAT COMMISSION OF JESUS CHRIST.

Madame Guyon thought she was caught up with God, but really, she was caught up with herself. She consumed her life largely upon her own personal religious devotions. She did not know the true Gospel of Jesus Christ for herself nor did she carry it to others. Though she spoke of the grace of Christ, it was intermingled with Catholic sacramental heresy.

This has been one of the great errors of Christian mysticism and monasticism from the second century until now. God has not called the believer to remove to a remote cave or mountain top hideout or solitary cell, or to sit around looking inside of himself for God, or seeking to put oneself into a mindless, passive meditative state, or to be caught up in visions and trances. The Lord Jesus Christ and His apostles did nothing like this. Their prayer and meditation was much more practical than that. Christ has commanded His churches to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15).

You can read more in Wikipedia about Christian Mysticism http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_mysticism

One person leaves a comment on Amazon about John Crowders book”Miracle Workers, Reformers, and the New Mystics”:

While the book is full of interesting accounts from both the life and ministry of Crowder and his New Mystics and many others, the book is lacking in biblical exegesis. Crowder rarely interacts with Scripture unless it is to back up a point or an experience. In fact, Crowder seems to me to argue against deep personal study of the Bible in favour of a mystical communion with God. For instance, when Crowder writes on prayer he teaches from the new age Thomas Merton and contemplative prayer. Crowder believes that the mystic Merton and others found a powerful tool for true praying in contemplative prayer that the Church has lost. Crowder never examines the Bible for contemplative prayer but simply favours it because of its mystical roots and where it leads. He even favours out-of-body experiences from contemplative prayer.

I can not recommend this book. It is simply not biblical. It is not biblical both because of what it teaches and the fact that Crowder does not truly dive into the Bible. I am all for what the Puritans called, “experiential Christianity” but not wild mysticism without a solid biblical foundation. There are better books on prayer (E.M. Bounds, Samuel Chadwick, John Wesley, Andrew Murray), on devotion (Leonard Ravenhill, Oswald Chambers, Charles Spurgeon, John MacArthur, John Piper), and on experiencs based on the authority of the Bible (Ray Comfort, Anthony Palma, French Arrington, Douglas Jacoby) that are out there.

People who want to abide in the word of God are being labeled today as “religious” and “pharisee” just because they try to point out the heretical teachings of ministers today who are deceived and deceiving others leading them to a new age christ.

Psalms 2:1-3

Ps 2:1 Why are the nations in an uproar And the peoples devising a vain thing?
Ps 2:2 The kings of the earth take their stand And the rulers take counsel together Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying,
Ps 2:3 “Let us tear their fetters apart And cast away their cords from us!”

In reality when people like Todd Bentley, God TV, John Crowder, etc call those who are seeing a need to get back to the the truth of God’s word as “religious”, “pharisees”, “heresy hunters”, etc. they are actually saying “Let us tear their fetters apart and cast away their cords from us!” The amplified says this…

Amp Ps 2:3 Let us break Their bands [of restraint] asunder and cast Their cords [of control] from us.

Because the word of God brings restraint sin and the fleshly desires.

1 John 3:4 Everyone who commits (practices) sin is guilty of lawlessness; for [that is what] sin is, lawlessness (the breaking, violating of God’s law by transgression or neglect–being unrestrained and unregulated by His commands and His will).
The apostle Paul said this to the church of Corinth…

2 Cor 6:11 Our mouth has spoken freely to you, O Corinthians, our heart is opened wide.
2 Cor 6:12 You are not restrained by us, but you are restrained in your own affections.
2 Cor 6:13 Now in a like exchange–I speak as to children–open wide {to us} also.
2 Cor 6:14 Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?
2 Cor 6:15 Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?
2 Cor 6:16 Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.
2 Cor 6:17 “Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE,” says the Lord. “AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN; And I will welcome you.
2 Cor 6:18 “And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” Says the Lord Almighty.
2 Cor 7:1 Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
2 Cor 7:2 Make room for us {in your hearts; we wronged no one, we corrupted no one, we took advantage of no one.

They are restrained from obeying the word of God because of fleshly affections that are done under the excess of “ecstasy/ecstatic”…these new age practices and spiritual experiences go beyond the scriptures of what Jesus and the apostles taught…it is making provision for the flesh under the deception called Ecstasy and Contemplative prayer…The bible calls this lawlessness…(1John 3:4b) being unrestrained and unregulated by His commands and His will). Tell me how is sticking to the scriptures religious? Not following the scriptures IMO is what is religious…just creating a “new” religion to give more freedom to the carnal nature to do as it wants and putting Jesus name on it. This is ANTICHRIST…Notice that even the name ANTIChrist also has Christs name in it also…Its a counterfeit christ, an imitation, fake, a facsimile of the true, a cheap carbon copy…Jesus said if any man wants to be His disciple they must DENY HIMSELF pick up their cross and follow Him…The apostle Peter said we should obey God rather than men…the apostle Paul said ‘follow me AS I FOLLOW THE LORD’…if Paul is not following the Lord in an area then we ought not to follow him in that…Paul praised the Bereans when they went to check out the things he was telling them against the scriptures…but people like God TV, Todd Bentley, Bill Johnson, John Crowder, etc call those of us who will check out what they say against scripture and find what they say is not in line with what the bible teaches as “religious”, “pharisees”, “heresy hunters”, “wolves”, etc….they judge themselves when they make such accusations against the truth for the purpose of turning believers away from the Christ by hurling false accusations at His anointed brethren who boldly speak the truth…God have mercy on them for so doing…

Advertisements

5 responses

  1. God is largely silent. His manifest presence has been missing from the churches in America and Europe for a long time. We groan within ourselves because of this darkness, this silence, as we long for intimacy with God. We pray and pray and the heavens are like brass. The darkness continues. Easy to get irritated at God for not giving us some token of His nearness and caring. We are like children who are angry because our radio no longer plays the Sparky program because by accident someone moved the dial. Sparky is still playing, but we cannot hear him. If we cannot hear him, then to us he is not playing on the radio at all. We are on the wrong frequency. God has told us what station to listen to Him. If we are tuned in we hear Him. The Word of God is God’s station. That is where we hear His voice. He tells us He will never leave us and that He never changes. He shows us His great love for us by displaying the greatest proof of love ever: Jesus. Our faith grows as we listen to God’s voice in His word. We learn to walk with God our savior on the narrow path as we listen to that Word. This is intimacy with God, and it is by faith. But woe to those who seek to build their own little fires to lighten their own way.

  2. Col.2:23 says: These things indeed have a reputation of having wisdom in self willed worship and humility, and severity in abuse of the body, but are not of any value against the indulgence of the flesh.
    The Pastor of the church I attend desires reality with God. He read from a book that had tremendous words. I began to read several chapters of this book. The next morning just as I woke up, these words were ringing in my mind: Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly. I took from that that God did not want me reading that book, but to get back into His Word. The book was “Introduction to the Devout Life” by Saint Francisco de Sales (1567-1622).

    There is so much very good in that book, it is easy to rationalize that we will just eat the meat and throw the bones away. The problem is when people have not been Berean in their love of the Scriptures they might not recognize the bones. Saint Francis de Sales was the Catholic Bishop fighting Calvinism in Geneva and striving to win back many to the “Faith”. He had love for the Church and for Mary. He had gone through years of agony over predestination. He fought against the extremes he saw in Calvinism. When you boil it all down though, he charismatically taught holiness that ultimately did not bring him to the end of himself and the need for Jesus Christ alone.

  3. Strange you should use first John to refute her claims of perfection since 1 John makes one of the strongest arguments in favor of it. 1John 3:9 – “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.”

    Also your reading of Romans 7 is overly simplistic and does not take into account what follows in Romans 8.

    What do you interpret “be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect” to mean?

    Does it make Christ a hindu because he says to “deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me?”

    Meditation is practiced in eastern mystic religions, but it is also biblical.

    • The section you must be referring to is the section about Madame Guyon..I didn’t write that but I copied it from another website. Just to show some of the things that Madame Guyon believes. Contemplative prayer and mystical meditation is not in method the same as what biblical prayer and meditation is. They are 2 different things all together. The mystical form of meditation leads to bondage and changes ones perception of Jesus to a universal perspective that unifies itself with all the worlds pagan idolatrous religions. The true biblical meditation of God’s word (verses a word or phrase repeated in eastern meditation or contemplative prayer that leads one to altered states of consciousness and hypnosis) through the power of the Holy Spirit repels the universal spirit to be in unity with pagan religions and their idols…the apostle Paul said in 2 Cor. 6:14-18
      14Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

      15And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

      16And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

      17Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.

      18And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

      What has been said here in this post is not against biblical meditation and denying oneself to pick up their cross and follow Jesus…Nor is this against living a holy life and being perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect. This is about exposing the eastern and pagan meditation that has crept into the church with the claim it is biblical when by its method is clearly not…Please do your research on eastern meditations and contemplative prayer before you decide to cast judgements making assumptions…Eastern and mystical meditation is UNBIBLICAL…Did you read the top link to the article about the difference between biblical prayer and contemplative prayer first? Here is a quote from the top link article titled “Contemplative Prayer vs Biblical Prayer” ~
      The Contemplative Outreach Ltd. website featuring Thomas Keating’s teachings gives this method on contemplative prayer/meditation

      “Contemplative Prayer “Guidelines include:

      1. Choose a sacred word as the symbol of your intention to consent to God’s presence and action within.
      2. Sitting comfortably and with eyes closed, settle briefly and silently introduce the sacred word as the symbol of your consent to God’s presence and action within.
      3. When engaged with your thoughts*, return ever-so gently to the sacred word.
      4. At the end of the prayer period, remain in silence with eyes closed for a couple of minutes.

      *Thoughts include body sensations, feelings, images, and reflections.” 4 Emphasis Added

      In my research, it became clear that these Roman Catholic monks were influenced by pagan Eastern Religions. “During the twenty years (1961-1981) when Keating was abbot, St. Joseph’s held dialogues with Buddhist and Hindu representatives; and a Zen master gave a week-long retreat to the monks. A former Trappist monk who had become a Transcendental Meditation teacher also gave a session to the monks.” 5

      Not Prayer But Mystical Meditation

      Contemplative Prayer is not Biblical prayer at all, rather it is a type of mystical meditation leading the mind into an altered state of consciousness. It goes beyond thought, providing an experiential union with so-called God or with nature producing body sensations, feelings, images, and reflections.

      It is based on “experiences” rather than sound doctrine. “… give attendance… to doctrine.” 1 Timothy 4:13. Faith is to be based on God’s word rather than experiences. “So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17, “For we walk by faith, not by sight:” 2 Corinthians 5:7.

      Contemplative Prayer is also known as centering prayer, listening prayer, breath prayer, and prayer of the heart. It is just one of many mystical practices taught within a confusing, mixed-up movement called Contemplative Spirituality.’

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s