We are all engaged in seeking to find appropriate pathways in prayer to enrich our friendship with God. I have personally chosen to walk the path of a Contemplative Activist for around ten years now and have learnt both the benefits and the differences between Meditation and Contemplation. They are distinct prayer disciplines forming part of the fivefold framework for God encounter. These five are Thanksgiving, Confession, Intercession, Meditation and Contemplation.

Very briefly Meditation uses some external reference, say a scripture or a scene from nature, and invites the imagination to draw close and encounter God afresh. Contemplation, however, invites us to wait for God to approach us directly and so involves the disciplines of silence and stillness.

In my three blogs, I want to look at Meditation and Contemplation in three ways;

* As an anchor for our life and witness
* As an encounter with the Triune God
* As a revelation to ourselves and to others

I live on the south coast of England and walking my dog along the shore watch the lobster boats working amongst their pots. They work the same collecting pattern everyday. Unless of course their work is interrupted by a mighty storm, after which many pots will have been torn from their anchors and carried away in ferocious seas.

The essential essence of prayer is to anchor us in the faith of Christ. Meditation & Contemplation more especially since rather than us initiating prayers, we quietly open ourselves up to listen to God’s voice. It is this voice of God that will guide us effectively through all the storms of life. Yet, so often it’s the intensity of the storm itself that is the reason we lose sight of God. Then, torn from our moorings, we doubt our security in Christ and His ways whilst bobbing about helplessly and aimlessly upon life’s vast ocean. James writes, ‘…for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord’ James 1:6-7

Therefore, to remain stable and true to God through the trials and tribulations of life, we take time to develop the practices of Meditation & Contemplation.