Contemplative Prayer

What is contemplative prayer? I’m just learning about this type of prayer and on Saturday, I spent the day at Christ’s Peace House of Prayer in Easton, KS. I set aside 7 hours of my weekend for prayer! I know, it sounds insane, but I was able to do it. 

Contemplative prayer is silence. In the Christian tradition, there are three major types of prayer: vocal prayer, meditation and contemplative prayer.  I’ve had many years of Bible Study which has helped me to understand who God is. Now I’m in a relationship with Him. He is my friend and I love Him. I sat aside my day just to focus on Christ…not on myself. 

I spoke with the director of the retreat house for a short time and then I entered into 6 hours of silent prayer. We did take a break for a homemade lunch that was awesome, but we did not talk at lunch either.  I had a hard time keeping my body still. This was the first time I’ve tried doing this and it was probably too long for a first try, but I’m glad I went. 
Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him Psalm 62:5.
As I learn more about this type of prayer, I will share that information with you. Hoping you have a good week.
I left my house at 8 am, drove the 1 hour drive to Easton, KS and arrived at 9 am to a most peaceful environment. The setting was in the country. Easton, KS is a farming community of about 300 people.  It is beautiful, serene and just peaceful. I was at peace all day long. Earlier in the day the temperature was in the low 70s which is so mild for this time of year. It was beautiful outside with no humidity.

The Harvest is Plentiful

Have you had an opportunity to visit a Senior Citizen Apartment lately? It might be called a retirement home, nursing home, Senior Living Quarters, or some other name a marketing expert has come up with. In any case, it is the same group of people who live there…senior citizens. I have made about six visits to retirement apartments in the last year. One of my mom’s best friends lives in one of these apartments and I’ve gone to visit her recently.

Today, I took my youngest daughter Julie with me to visit a friend who lives in what Julie called “a hotel for old people.” This friend of mine graduated from my alma mater albeit thirty years before I did.

Yes, this retirement living is rather fancy with cherry furniture resembling something out of Ethan Allen showroom. There’s a concierge, a bar, social room, hair salon, dining hall and 4 floors of luxurious living. It’s what retirement centers have become today.

Yet underneath the facade of beautiful furniture, it still remains that these people are basically waiting around to kick the bucket. Their daily happy hour starts at 3:30 or 4:00 pm and that is followed by dinner at 4:30. “Why so early?” Julie asked. Well, I think it’s because they get to bed early, but I don’t know for sure.

I have compassion for the men and women living in these places. In my mind, it reminds me of a prison because many of these people can’t drive any longer. Some of them are helpless. I don’t know why they are there…life’s circumstances just brought them to live there. Maybe they chose to live there and they love it…I don’t know. I just know that whenever I go to visit my elderly friends, I walk away feeling blessed to still be somewhat young and able to go visit them.

I think about the day I might be living in one of these apartments and if I’ll participate in bingo, bunko or whatever game is being played.  Will I elect to go to happy hour? Probably so. Who will come visit me? What old lady hairstyle will I have?

I’ve also noticed that these visits put my mind in a place thirty or forty years from now. Will I be happy with the way I lived my life? One thought I would like to leave you with is to think about going into a retirement center and walk around and visit people. They will smile at you, talk to you, ask you questions. There is so much wisdom you can glean from just talking to people in this age group. It will make you appreciate your life and your youth. It will possibly make someone’s day!

Matthew 9:36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.