Centering Prayer: Sitting Quietly in God's Presence Can Change Your Life (Paperback)
A new, but ancient, way to pray can turn your life around. Discover how to experience God’s love at your core, freeing you to love others, and even yourself.
When biblical scholar and coach Brian Russell discovered centering prayer at a difficult crossroad in his life, he had no idea how his life would change. “Sensing God’s love for me has been so transformational that it almost feels as though I’ve experienced conversion all over again,” he writes. He became calmer, less anxious, less reactive, freed of past wounds, and a better listener in the presence of others.
Centering prayer, also known as the prayer of silence, helps you quiet your mind from the constant thoughts and impulses, and frees your true self to experience more of God’s love in the very core of your being.
This inviting guide gives you practical tools to make centering prayer a consistent habit in your life, gives the history and theological foundation for the practice, and helps identify and overcome common obstacles. Beginners, as well as seasoned practitioners, will gain inspiration, rich insight, and practical knowledge of a contemplative prayer practice that can open you up to deep experiences of inner healing and peace.
About the Author
Dr. Brian D. Russell (Ph.D.) is an ordained pastor, an award winning professor of Biblical studies, and founder of Deep Dive Spirituality a coaching program for pastors and spiritual leaders interested in deepening their spiritual formation for authentic Christian living and mission in the world. Brian's calling is this: to seek out, study, and embody the deepest truths of God in order to model and teach them to others lovingly, compellingly, and transformationally. Brian is married to the love of his life. Together they are parents to six adult children and three grandchildren.
“Brian invites us to trust God’s own heart as our most true dwelling place. He shows how this centering is not an escape to an ethereal realm but inhabits God’s own life in the glorious messiness of our own.” —Dr. Amy Oden, Professor of Early Church History and Spirituality; author of, Right Here, Right Now: The Practice of Christian Mindfulness
“Most of us sort out life’s problems using words and logic. Brian Russell shows us a better way—to begin from our divinely designed center of gravity: prayer. The best way to experience ‘lavish love’ and pay it forward is to pray (and play) it forward. This book could change your life.” —Leonard Sweet, best-selling author, preacher, and educator
“We live in a crazy world, where people are stressed and burning out. Spiritual burnout occurs when we don’t give ourselves time to stop and rest from our busy routine. More than ever, we need to recenter our lives on Christ. More specifically, we need to rediscover the practice of centering prayer that will help sustain us. Centering Prayer is a timely book. Read it and you will be refreshed, renewed, and recentered in the presence of God.” —Dr. Winfield Bevins, Director of Church Planting at Asbury Seminary and author of Ever Ancient Ever New
“Brian Russell shares his story of moving from intellectual assent to heartfelt experience of being loved by God. How did that transformation happen? Read this book to find out for yourself, and you too might discover the beauty of sitting in silence before the One who knows you completely and loves you deeply.” —Virginia Todd Holeman, PhD, LPCC, Professor of Counseling, Asbury Theological Seminary
“Soon enough, none of us will remember life before the internet. Our online technologies will have become a kind of foundational myth. Something essential will be missing from our lives, something our ancestors took entirely for granted — an ability to be absent. Whether you are leading in the marketplace or the Church, Centering Prayer offers you timeless practices that will help you foster a spirituality that is not just another connection but is the connection to grow in your love of God, neighbor, and yourself." —Dr. Mark Dunwoody, Co-Founder of Missional Formation Coaching and author of Healthy Rhythms for Leaders
“Brian Russell invites us to recenter ourselves in God’s loving presence through centering prayer. As a gifted teacher and experienced practitioner, Brian is a trustworthy guide for anyone who thirsts, not only to know more about God, but to be with God and walk in his way of love every day.” —Alastair Sterne, lead pastor of St. Peter’s Fireside in Vancouver, British Columbia, and author of Rhythms for Life
“Russell gives a very down to earth, practical presentation of centering prayer and how it can help us grow in the spiritual journey. In particular, he shows how beautifully it reflects the Scriptures and how it can open us up to the healing power of God's Spirit, as experienced through silence. I think this is a very useful read for anyone trying to grow in the spirit." —Rev. Dr. Murchadh O'Madagain, author of Centering Prayer and the Healing of the Unconscious
“The loss of prayer in the Christian church is not due to lack of time. We binge watch Netflix with immense efficiency. It is due to a deep conviction. We think we’re better at things than God. Brian Russell invites us not to a new way, but the old way, which is laced with patience and quiet, hope and love, yearning and hoping. Highly recommended.” —A.J. Swoboda, assistant professor of Bible, theology, and World Christianity at Bushnell University and the author of After Doubt
“Brian has been to the desert of a fullblown spiritual and emotional crisis, and he knows the way through. The practice of centering prayer has been a sustaining force in his life, and now he shares deep insights from his own growth and failures. This is more than a book—it is a pathway into the transformative love of God.” –Rev. Dr. Michael Adam Beck, author and Director of the Fresh Expressions House of Studies at United Theological Seminary
“Dr. Brian Russell’s book is an indispensable guide to discovering the depths of God’s love, who we are, and how we’re created to live.” —John Carroll, Director of the School of Kingdom Living, Dallas Willard Ministries
"Russell reimagines for this day and age what it means to dwell in prayer with the Divine. A must read!" —Tiffany Bluhm, author of Prey Tell: Why We Silence Women Who Tell the Truth and How Everyone Can Speak Up