During Lent a group of 11 Redeemer women attended a Contemplative Prayer retreat at Bethany House of Prayer. The retreat was led by Rev. Kate Ekrem and Mary Ann Burnside. Among those who attended were Bonnie, Sarah, Calie, Evelyn, Mary, Paula, Kristina, Donna, Bethany and Kathleen.
Contemplative Prayer is a receptive method of silent prayer that prepares us to experience God’s presence within us. This method of prayer is both a relationship with God and a discipline to foster that relationship. It allows us to sit still, be quiet and listen to God and rest in God.
The group gathered on Friday evening at the Bethany House of Prayer in Arlington. The retreatants had dinner together, followed by instruction in contemplative prayer from Reverend Kate. After compline the group observed silence for the rest of the evening until 9 am the next morning.
The group broke silence after breakfast on Saturday morning. Throughout the morning the group received more instruction in Contemplative Prayer from Mary Anne Burnside, and had several opportunities to practice.
After lunch the group again had time to observe silence until a final practice period for Contemplative Prayer. After a session sharing what each retreatant had learned, the group went home. Each attendee experienced Contemplative Prayer in a different way, but each one found the practice to be meaningful and a way to grow closer to God. The group discussed continuing to meet to support each other’s practice of Contemplative Prayer. And the group highly recommended having an annual retreat during Lent.