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I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,

and in his word I hope;

my soul waits for the Lord,

more than watchmen for the morning....Psalm 130

The Waiting Room

Contemplative prayer is different from intercessory prayer,

which seeks to tell God everything that is on your mind.

In contemplative prayer, the praying person seeks to immerse in God's presence.

We want to hear God, rather than being heard by God.

Simply put, contemplative prayer is resting and waiting in God's presence,

without saying anything, and, if possible, without thinking anything.

Slowly breathe in and out,

resting in God, waiting on God, and trusting in God's love.

God of our hopes and dreams,

when we feel empty, and long to be filled;

when we feel hungry, and long to be fed;

when we feel lost, and long to be found.

Gather us into your love,

and pick up the pieces of our lives.

“Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength,

they shall mount up with wings like eagles,

they shall run and not be weary,

they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31

Something very important is happening as we “wait upon the Lord.”

God is renewing our strength as we sit in his presence,

opening our hearts to the work of the Holy Spirit.

The Hebrew word translated as “wait” is — qavah.

The literal meaning of qavah is to “bind together like a cord.”

Strands of string get stronger as they are woven into a rope.

So while “waiting upon the Lord”

we are being bound together with God and strengthened.

Contemplative prayer is a means by which

the Spirit weaves the various strands of our lives into the fabric of God’s love.

Thus, by waiting upon the Lord we are strengthened for daily life and service.

We may not perceive this renewing process taking place as we sit in meditation. However, over time our prayer results

in the strengthening of our faith, our souls, and our trust in God.

Paul Rietmann

Mary, when visited by Gabriel in Nazareth, replied to him,

“Be it unto me according to thy word.”

In other words Mary said “Yes” in a very deep profound way

to the activity of God within her life.

It was a mysterious activity that she did not fully understand.

But yet, she consented to God’s Word with faith and trust.

Mary represents for us the archetype of the contemplative life.

She embodies what it means to be a contemplative: a person who opens their body, mind, heart and soul

to the Divine Presence.

A person who says “yes” and consents

to God’s gracious mysterious activity in their lives.

Pray her words from your heart.

Make them your own. And then be ready for the wondrous adventure

of contemplative transformation!

“Be it unto me according to thy word.”

"Hail, Mary, full of grace,

the Lord is with thee;

blessed art thou among women,

and blessed is the fruit of thy womb...."

Sustainer of the hungry,like a mother you long to feed your children until each is satisfied. Turn our eyes to you alone, that, aware of our own deepest longings,

we will reach out with Christ to feed others with the miracle of your love. Amen.

Abigail Carlisle-Wilke, The Lutheran Church of America & PHNC

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