Contemplative Prayer in the Christian tradition has been arguably going on as long as Christianity itself. Many times in his ministry Jesus removed himself from his disciples and the crowds in order that he might silently connect with God and rejuvenate his being and purpose. Contemplative Prayer of course comes from the word contemplation and in 6th century St Gregory defined contemplation as, "resting in God". In this sense the person in contemplation is not seeking God or petitioning God so much as beginning to experience what it is like being with God. In a famous interview with Mother Teresa she was asked what she speaks to God about. She answered, "It is not so much about dialogue as it is sitting silently with God and both of us are listening to each other". Contemplative prayer then is the opening of one's heart and mind to God - it is a kind of interior transformation that happens over time when sharing your being with God.
There is a long and strong history at St John's of teaching, practicing and growing in the Contemplative Tradition. We currently have three groups who meet and carry on this tradition. One is the Contemplative Prayer Group, which meets on Friday mornings, the other is the Sounds Of Silence Prayer Group that meets on Monday evenings and the third is Midday Meditation and Prayer that meets every Wednesday at 1:00pm. Please click on the links to find out more about these groups.