Sitting With God

M. David Bradshaw
7 min readMar 29, 2021

A Journey to Your True Self Through Centering Prayer — A Book Review

If you are interested in reading a good, heart-felt introduction to the daily practice of silent, centering or contemplative prayer and the benefits thereof, this is a good place to start.

There are many books on this subject written by “monks and cloistered folk,” writes Amos Smith, a fellow Christian mystic in the Introduction, but author Rich Lewis shares his thoughts and experiences in a down-to-earth-people language, as a middle class working family man who has incorporated this practice into his daily life over the last seven years.

Rich begins his explanation of the somewhat intimidating practice of silent meditation with a simple invitation for readers to start with just one-minute of silence. Which, for most people sounds doable.

“I sit in silence to enter a journey that God and I travel together,” writes Lewis. Gradually his practice increased to 3-minutes, then 5-minutes, and ultimately to 20-minutes twice a day.

I like that Rich offers his practice as a recommendation, not a requirement. By the end of the book readers will become well versed in how this practice has transformed his personal, family, work and spiritual life.

“As our bodies need rest, our minds need solitude and stillness…It is a pilgrimage from our mind to heart,” says Rich. This is especially true during rapidly changing times such as we’ve all faced during the Covid pandemic.

“Scientists and meditation advocates see silence as a way to promote physical and mental health,” reports Wall Street Journal. “People are desperate for silence,” says a leading Wellness Institute research director.

So if we desperately need silence, why is it so hard to carve out at least a tiny bit of time each day to make space for grace? Good question!

As Rich explains, detaching from our thoughts, emotions, worries, etc. is not as easy as it may sound. “Centering prayer teaches us to let go…to allow God to work in us…Letting go during silent prayer is merely practice for letting go that must continue during our daily lives,” he says.

Rich makes the important connection between our times of silence and the…