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The goal for this Doctoral Project was to offer the spiritual discipline of Centering Prayer to a church community as a healing practice for people of the Christian faith. Not only does Centering Prayer foster inner healing, but the practice also creates a deepening relationship with God in ways other prayer forms do not. The ancient/new practice of Centering Prayer can bring emotional restoration and a more intentional connection to God. By utilizing a contemplative format of prayer, the individual benefits from physiological changes in the brain.
When Centering Prayer becomes a regular part of a Christian’s spiritual practice, it unifies the mind, body, and spirit holistically, while fostering healing through a contemplative relationship with God. This prayer form trains the mind to think in a different way, which changes the brain’s neuronal structure. Once the brain creates new pathways, it changes destructive thought patterns and improves emotional health by liberating the human spirit. As a prayer form, it affects the praying person’s mind while enhancing the intimacy of his or her relationship with God.
To test this thesis, two groups learned about Centering Prayer in different settings. One was a group from Christ United Methodist Church in the form of a seven-week Lenten study on various contemplative spiritual disciplines, one of which was Centering Prayer. The second group was a weekend retreat with a sister church, Christ United Methodist from Charlotte, North Carolina. Within the groups, each person’s life experience varied considerably. The receptivity of each participant also varied, leaving some perplexed and others intrigued. Ultimately, the Holy Spirit must lead every person to this practice at the right time in life and sustain him or her through its challenges to personally benefit from its multi-somatic advantages.
Doctor of Ministry
Jones, Tony H.
Centering Prayer, Prayer, Contemplative Prayer, Contemplation, Inner Healing, Inner Healing Through Prayer, Healing, Mindfulness, Neuroplasticity, Brain Rewiring, Brain Changes via Prayer, Healing Prayer, Ancient/New Prayer
Medicine and Health Sciences | Social and Behavioral Sciences
Material is subject to copyright.
Smith, Jill S., "Inner Healing Through Centering Prayer at Christ United Methodist Church, Salisbury, North Carolina" (2019). Doctor of Ministry Projects. 379.