Centering Prayer

What is Centering Prayer?

Centering Prayer is a method of silent prayer that prepares us to receive the gift of contemplative prayer, prayer in which we experience God's presence within us, closer than breathing, closer than thinking, closer than consciousness itself. This method of prayer is both a relationship with God and a discipline to foster that relationship.

Centering Prayer is not meant to replace other kinds of prayer. Rather, it adds depth of meaning to all prayer and facilitates the movement from more active modes of verbal prayer into a receptive prayer of resting in God. Centering Prayer emphasizes prayer as a personal relationship with God and as a movement beyond conversation with Christ to communion with Christ.

The source of Centering Prayer, as in all methods leading to contemplative prayer, is the Indwelling Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The focus of Centering Prayer is the deepening of our relationship with the living Christ. The effects of Centering Prayer are ecclesial, as the prayer tends to build communities of faith and bond the members together in mutual friendship and love.

How Can I Learn Centering Prayer?

Centering Prayer can be learned in several ways.  The most common way is by attending a local “Introduction to Centering Prayer” retreat or workshop.  These workshops are usually given in a one-day format, with six follow-up sessions to help you establish your daily practice.  You may contact  Contemplative Outreach Hawaii (email us at or call us at 628-400-2644) with a request for an Introduction to Centering Prayer workshop for your church or group or to find out if one is scheduled on your island. 

You can also learn Centering Prayer and other contemplative practices through an online course.  Check to Contemplative Outreach website for more information. 

Finally, an in-home package was created in partnership with Sounds True so that people could learn the method at home through DVDs, CDs and a guidebook.  The package is available in the Contemplative Outreach store.

The Guidelines

From the pamphlet published by Contemplative Outreach, Ltd. 

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

See below for downloadable pamphlets with more information  on Centering Prayer and the related practices of Lectio Divina and Welcoming Prayer.

Contemplative Outreach of Hawaii,
Aug 19, 2015, 1:36 PM
Contemplative Outreach of Hawaii,
Aug 19, 2015, 1:39 PM
Contemplative Outreach of Hawaii,
Aug 19, 2015, 1:39 PM
Carol Alevizos,
Jan 11, 2017, 12:25 PM
Contemplative Outreach of Hawaii,
Aug 19, 2015, 1:36 PM