Prayer of Quiet or Simplicity
Jesus said, “When you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private” Matt 6:6a (New Living Translation).
“Out of the deliberate practice of loving attention to God, the contemplative glides on to a plane of perception for which human speech has few equivalents . . . As Recollection becomes deeper, the self slides into a certain dim yet vivid consciousness of the Infinite. The door tight shut on the sensual world, it becomes aware that it is immersed in a more real world which it cannot define. It rests quietly in this awareness: quite silent, utterly at peace” (Mysticism Evelyn Underhill, Page 214).
Do you wonder what this prayer of Quiet or Simplicity that Evelyn Underhill speaks of is good for? Is it only for the satisfaction of the one who prays? Is there some good that it does for the world?
Such prayer of simplicity and quietness, I believe, is first of all for the praise and adoration of God; secondly, such prayer is to bring the one who prays into a closer relationship with God, so that the pray-er becomes more like God, becomes holy as God is holy; and this growth in holiness and oneness with God is for the purpose of the healing of the world. We first have to be healed in God’s presence in order that we can help to bring God’s healing to the world.
The contemplative prayer that Evelyn Underhill speaks about does not involve words but stillness, quiet, and peace. We become filled with God’s quiet presence and that quiet presence of God gets transmitted through us to those with whom we are in contact—not by anything that we say to them or do for them, but by what we are becoming by being in God’s presence.
Judith is a Professional member of The Word Guild and author of two non-fiction books, Prayer Companion: A Treasury of Personal Meditation, and Glorious Autumn Days: Meditations for the Wisdom Years, as well as one book of mystical poetry, Grapes from the Vine. Judith writes a monthly meditation, which can be found on her website: www.judithlawrence.ca. Judith’s latest spiritual book, Highway of Holiness: Soul Journey is now available. You can purchase it through Wipf and Stock Publishers.