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 Contemplative Prayer

One of the ways that Eastern influences are entering the Church is through Contemplative prayer. Although advocates like Brennan Manning, Richard Foster, Thomas Merton and Ruth Haley Barton deny any connection between contemplative prayer and eastern meditation the similarities are hard to miss.

In February 2008, Christianity Today ran a glowing cover story about Evangelicalism's recent embrace of medieval Roman Catholic mysticism entitled The Future lies in the Past.1 The article traced the beginning of the movement as follows: "The movement seems to have exploded in a 24-month period in 1977-1978, which saw the publication of Richard Foster's bestselling Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth and Robert Webber's Common Roots: A Call to Evangelical Maturity."2

In this article you will see that Foster's "journey inward" is unbiblical and dangerous. And you will also see that most of the spiritual disciplines that he calls "means of grace" are no means of grace at all—but a means of putting oneself under spiritual deception.

This is an excellent refutation of contemplative prayer by Pastor Bob DeWaay of Twin City Fellowship Church here:

All Critical Issues.

The book, Running Against the Wind, The Transformation of a New Age Medium and His Warning to The Church discusses this subject and other New Age influences in our society.


 2011/5/8 8:44

Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7486

 Re: Contemplative Prayer

A777, I checked out this site...I was once again reminded how man can complicate the simple gospel of Jesus Christ. Man uses techniques that focuses on me, myself and I to attain deeper spirituality, using God as a crutch to achieve this new super-spirituality. It seems to me these people are doing a serious disservice to the cause of Christ in promoting something so complicated.

Odd thing is that people seem to think that one has to spend a lot of resources if you want to gain anything of value. At CPC we offered a client free Bible classes, but, no, she declined the offer... earlier she had plucked down several hundred dollars to achieve a heightened sense of spirituality via some seminar.

Jesus complimented the sinner who prayed, "God be merciful to me a sinner." When this becomes our cry, our heartfelt desire, we will experience a closeness with the LORD through his WORD enlivened by the Holy Spirit. So easy...and you do not have to attend seminars and buy books to learn how to achieve this goal.

Sandra Miller

 2011/5/8 21:19Profile


Hi GinnyRose,

I have been thinking about this all day. Christians "seeking" spiritual experiences and emotional experiences.

One thing kept coming to me today. Boredom with God's Word and a despising of the Cross.

Think about it, the FLESH loves emotional experiences and the Flesh hates the Cross. I am sure there are other reasons but these two things kept coming to me today.

The Word is all about Jesus and the Cross and turning away from self (and other idols) and to serve the Living God.

I have been doing some more research and I don't know if have heard of Spiritual Counterfeits Project but they have a lot of info on Christian Mysticism and the like.

All the best,

 2011/5/8 21:45

 Outward, not inside

Thanks A777 for posting this. You and I are in agreement about the dangers of contemplative prayer; what it really is, and how it is divorced from anything holy.

I believe that CP is the motor that charges Babylon itself...and though the Roman Catholics have carried the torch in the West....Contemplative prayer has been paramount for thousands of years before the RCC; before the cross of Christ.

It, in practice, is an "inward gazing", a "stillness" to capture the void, a nothingness that enables one to discover, as Guyon confessed......"The God who was always there....within me."

Her concept of being born again, was discovering him within her nature....and the process was "emptying herself"... as were all the mystics, along with her counterparts, the Gurus and holy men of Hindi-India.

At 19 she met a priest who told her: “It is, madame, because you seek without what you have within."

"Accustom yourself to seek God in your heart, and you will there find Him.”

Guyon wrote of no conversion, only a presupposition that Christ was always in her heart.

"Thus she started her incredible lifelong journey within. She responded to the Lord,

“Thou wast in my heart, and demanded only a simple turning of my mind inward, to make me perceive Thy presence. ... The kingdom of God is within you.”

There were, and are a plethora; a great number of these mystics, as there are a variety of religions. Madame Guyon is just one of the more famous ones.

And so Contemplative prayer resonates the same drum beat with each and every mystic...and as the RCC championed her in the West, Buddhism and Hinduism, Sufi-ism and various Pagan cults Laud her in the EAST....Especially the Hindi Gurus...and the Tibetan Buddhists of today.

It's practices are identical, involving guided imagery, and the focus on a sound, or ritualistic chant,and bead repetitions. Off to an inward journey you go, seeking enlightenment. The end, is a demonic bondage to the lie...and a searing of the soul.

One of the more famous modern movements today who practice these ancient methods; naming them as Christian..[ they are not, nor have never been..] is the prayer movement...with IHOP being the largest "Protestant" one. There are many non-christian and RCC Cloisters where one can learn and practice these Babylonian methods...and call it with other nomenclature.

As Christians, we pray to a God seated Above, through a Savior God, the Son, seated there at His Right hand....not to our fallen natures within our corrupt heart.

 2011/5/15 23:16

 Re: Contemplative Prayer

Hmm. Yes, I had read somewhere to beware of Brennan Manning but couldnt remember why. Thankyou Anonymous777 for a refresher course on this. Too much heresy out there and getting more subtle all the time.

 2011/5/15 23:29

Joined: 2009/5/15
Posts: 1042
Pacific Ocean


"But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking." -Matthew 6:7

Jeremiah Dusenberry

 2011/5/15 23:51Profile

Joined: 2005/6/6
Posts: 224
Brumley Missouri


Amen Ginnyrose,

The Bible states "freely you receive, freely give."

In the book the "teaching of the twelve Apostles" it states that if a minister of God ask for money they are false prophets.

Prayer is easy. Humble yourself before God.

It is time to leave. I am over at my daughters home in Branson and I have a 3 hour drive back home. talk soon.

William Cato

 2011/5/15 23:52Profile

Joined: 2010/11/25
Posts: 9


I was once again reminded how man can complicate the simple gospel of Jesus Christ. Man uses techniques that focuses on me, myself and I to attain deeper spirituality, using God as a crutch to achieve this new super-spirituality. It seems to me these people are doing a serious disservice to the cause of Christ in promoting something so complicated.

Can't say it better. Thank you.

 2011/5/16 3:13Profile

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