Contemplative Guide 9 – Image

So God created humankind in his image,

in the image of God he created them;

male and female he created them.


Genesis 1: 27



Stilling: Being present to God

Begin with a simple stilling candle 3

You may want to light a candle, or say a short prayer as you intentionally place yourself in the presence of the Holy One.

Find a comfortable position and be still for a couple of minutes. Concentrate on your breathing – slowly, in and out. Relax your muscles. Don’t worry about any thoughts that come into your head; acknowledge them, then come back to your stilling exercise.


Say the following prayer as you commit to being in God’s presence:

Dear God,

You sustain me and feed me;

Like a shepherd you guide me;

You lead me to an oasis of green,

To lie down by restful waters.

Dwell in me that I may dwell in you.


From Jim Cotter, Psalms for a pilgrim people, Psalm 23



Children love to play. That is perhaps one of the most striking aspects of childhood. Interestingly, their play largely seems to revolve around a combination of creativity, exploration, and relationship. If you give a child a box of bricks or a crayon, she will create something with them. If you leave a group of children in a garden, it probably won’t be long before they start playing hide-and-seek. And if you watch children singing nursery rhymes, you will see beautiful examples of relationship – even in the very simple act of joining hands in a circle, dancing round and round, and all falling down.


Growing up to be a child, page 114

Prayer: Encountering God

Choose one of these two exercises as a contemplative approach to prayer: Encountering God through play or Encountering God in Scripture (lectio divina)



Choose to make play a part of your life this week: commit to doing at least one thing each day that you find relaxing and enjoyable; build it into your routine.



Closing: Going on in God’s presence

Finish your time by saying the Lord’s Prayer.