Experiencing God’s Presence

Phil Bowyer led people in a structured time of contemplative prayer in an attempt to get in touch with, and deliberately reflect upon, the revelation of God. 

“The all-important aim…is to allow God’s mysterious and silent presence within us to become more and more not only a reality, but the reality which gives meaning, shape and purpose to everything we do, to everything we are.”

John Main (1926-1982), founder of the Benedictine Priory of Montreal.

For the first five minutes of silence people were encouraged to:

  • Sit down
  • Sit still and upright, comfortable and alert, with their backs straight
  • Close their eyes lightly
  • Breathe calmly and regularly
  • Silently, interiorly, say a single word, e .g. sha-lom, reciting it as two syllables of equal length as they breathed in-and-out
  • Listen to the word as they said it, gently and continuously, but not to think or imagine anything – spiritual or otherwise
  • If thoughts or images came, at this point they were to regarded as distractions;  if significant they would  most probably come back in the second half of the prayer.  Instead people were to let them float away, and – for now - return to simply saying the word sha-lom

During the second five minutes the Holy Spirit was invited to speak to people’s imagination through words, scripture, song, peotry and pictures, etc.  In groups of eight people shared what they felt God had revealed to them:

Words and pictures arranged in Groups – Experiencing God’s Presence – by group

Words and pictures arranged by Theme – Experiencing God’s Presence – by theme

Download a ‘Christian chime’ featuring 5 minutes of silence to rest and five minutes of silence to hear God here – 5 silent 5 prayer

About admin

Phil Bowyer is one of the founders of Integral Mission and Soul Action South Africa. He creates space for people who are exploring how to respond to various forms of poverty to connect with one another and God's mission. He is the author of several books on Integral Mission, incl. A Different World, Express Community and The Whole Wide World.