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Protestant Barriers to Contemplative Prayer

Protestant Barriers to Contemplative Prayer Author:  J. David Muyskens
I am an ordained Protestant minister who has benefited greatly from contemplative prayer.  I speak from experience with a way of being open to contemplative prayer called Centering Prayer. I am well acquainted with some of the resistances Protestants have toward contemplation.
What led me to Centering Prayer was a physician asking me, “Are you trying to do it all yourself?” My symptoms were caused by stress. I was trying to do it myself, leaving out my dependence on God. I did not have a private practice of prayer. The question caused me to find that missing ingredient. As I set up a daily practice of prayer I learned that prayer is not only talking to God but also listening and very much a matter of being in faith and love with my Creator, Lover and Holy Spirit. In prayer I put into practice my relationship with the divine. I learned the practice of Centering Prayer by reading Basil Pennington and listening to tapes …

The Pharisee and the Tax Collector - a sermon

Luke 18:9-14                                                                                           St. Stephen's Episcopal Church
October 23, 2016                                                                                   The Rev. Dr. Thomas F. Johnson

                     The Pharisee and the Tax Collector
When I was reading this Gospel passage, I first noticed that Jesus was telling a story. It’s not a historical event; it’s a story, and so the characters are overdrawn, portrayed in almost comic or symbolic terms.

In telling this story, Jesus is aiming at his audience. He is talking to some of them, not all of them. He was intending to provoke and challenge the worldview of a few of his listeners. Luke describes this audience in two ways.

First, Luke says, they are trusting, not so much in God, as trusting in themselves, confidently self-assured, that they are righteous, that is, that they have a right standing with God. They know that they must be well pleasing to Go…