How to use the saying

The Fellowship of Contemplative Prayer encourages the practice of silent prayer, as part of a group or as an individual, in order to promote and deepen the understanding and experience of contemplative prayer.
The Fellowship way follows a threefold pattern of prayer. A Biblical saying of God or of Jesus is chosen. The aim is to receive this saying into our mind, our heart, and our will. During the silence we listen to God speaking and let the words work in us. We can do this as part of a group or as an individual: the pattern is the same but the way it is developed will vary.

We begin by relaxing physically and becoming still, listening to the Lord's invitation to come to Him: 'Come to me all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest' (Matthew 11:28).

We listen with our minds, attempting to understand better the context of the scripture, spoken to us.

We listen with our hearts, receiving the saying in the context of now, spoken in us. 

We use our will to enable the words to be spoken through us to the person or situation for whom we wish to pray. 

We allow the words to flow into and through our minds and hearts, in accordance with a slow breathing rhythm: gradually the words themselves slip away and the presence remains - the exercise has become contemplative. We end with the Fellowship prayer, which can be found on the bookmark and in other literature.

A shortened form of the words may be used as a 'watchword', which can be brought to mind at any time and used to recall God's gift that has been received through the saying. It can also be used in times of temptation, stress or difficulty. 

A group or a retreat will spend an hour in a contemplative exercise; an individual, when praying privately, may spend only 5 to 10 minutes (although individuals can, of course, also pray for longer).

For greater detail, look at the Fellowship publication called the Prayer of Stillness or follow this link to the contemplative exercise.