A Calvin Theological Seminary Publication by Students & Alumni
Contemplative Prayer 101

Contemplative Prayer 101

Greetings to you, readers of the Kerux!

I find myself at the tail end of the intensive week for distance students, so I will admit that my brain is a little bit frazzled as I write this. However, it is my hope that today’s post will be helpful, informative, and/or encouraging for you today. 

In the past several days, I have been engaging in a contemplative prayer exercise for a formation group assignment. After doing some reading about the practice, we had to engage in it every day (it was four days in total). I was a little nerve racked coming into the experience, mostly because I had no idea what I was doing. The beauty of prayer, though, is that God does not mind too much whether our prayers sound eloquent or pretty; if they do, that’s great, but they do not always have to. What is unique about the contemplative style of prayer is that it goes so far as to hardly include any words at all. 

The interesting thing about contemplative prayer is that there’s so much space: usually, contemplative prayer involves silence or simple lines. (I’m sure it can involve other things, too.) I think that this space exists so that we can be reminded of God’s presence, and so that there is space for Him to speak, if He so desires. It may seem strange at first, especially when you’re someone like me, whose mind can run at a mile a minute. However, I found that God is present with me amidst the noise in my mind, and ultimately, He is greater than the noise. I think when I realized this, I experienced peace to such an extent that my racing thoughts slowed down, so I could better focus on God and just be with Him. I had never realized how powerful it could be to just sit somewhere and be with God; honestly, I was amazed. God desires a relationship with His children, and I think that sometimes, we just need to take a moment to remember that He is with and within us. 

My hope and prayer for you, readers, is that you will remember simply that God is with you; may you remember His presence with you and within you, today and in all the days to follow.

Annika Kolean, an MTS student, a classic rock enthusiast, and an Enneagram 5.