September 17, 2014 alanyoon

Contemplative Prayer Group

Remember the movie Twister, that tornado movie from the 90s? Cheesy or not, it’s one of my favorites, and having grown up in Iowa, tornadoes have always been a part of life. I’ve always found them truly awesome—in the fullest sense of that word—as though this otherworldly finger is coming down from the sky to touch the ground.

I love Twister’s final scene. Unable to escape the tornado, the two lead characters strap themselves to a metal pipe and allow the tornado to pass right over them. The world swirls around them. Wood, metal, doors, tractors, farm animals, and more hurtle through the air. They’re lost in a cyclone of dust, debris, and noise.

That is until they get to the eye of the tornado. There is perfect silence. A blue sky. And peace.

Remaining centered has been a challenge for me. Life can be noisy—with text messages, emails, city noise, and bus rides. Life can be chaotic—through career changes, life transitions, relationships, health, depression. Life can be full of “stuff.” But I’ve found that silence—especially intentional silence—can be a wonderful gift and an opportunity to rediscover that center.

On Tuesday nights, MBCC hosts a Contemplative Prayer Group, and we invite people to sit in the eye of the tornado and find the blue skies while the world swirls around them. For one hour, we engage in various types of spiritual exercises (through prayer, meditation, and scripture) that invite God to spend time with us and invite us to spend time listening to God. Our practice focuses on Centering Prayer, a type of silent prayer that comes from early Christianity and the Catholic tradition. During this time, we spend 20 minutes in silence with the intention of resting in God’s presence and allowing God to work inside us.

It is my experience and my deepest hope that this Centering Prayer time overflows into our every day and allows us to experience peace and communion with God as we walk through life’s beautiful chaos.

~ Sam Lundquist