During this fortnight, Matt will be posting about some different prayer practices to help us continue our exploration of prayer and fasting. The posts will be short and, for the most part, practically-focused.

The Active Prayer Practice

The active prayer involves a phrase drawn from Scripture, comprised of five to twelve syllables. The pray-er says this phrase aloud or silently in sync with their heartbeat. Examples include “O Lord, come to my assistance,” “Abide in my love,” “I belong to you, O Lord,” and “Jesus, my light and my love.”[1]

A phrase can repeated at any time of the day, and the advantage of repeating the same phrase frequently is that “it eventually becomes a ‘tape’ similar to the ‘tapes’ that accompany one’s upsetting emotions.”[2] The new ‘tape’ erases the old ones so the Spirit can suggest what should be done.


[1] Thomas Keating, Open Mind, Open Heart: The Contemplative Dimension of the Gospel (New York: Continuum, 2002), 134.
[2] Keating, Open Mind, Open Heart, 133.

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