Contemplative Prayer

Below is information I have copied from .  The writer has done his homework and gives a good description of Contemplative Prayer and why it is not Biblical.  Later, I will post some of the dangers of this type of prayer and explain why God tells us in His Word to avoid these things.

Contemplative Prayer


There is a prayer practice that is becoming popular within the evangelical church. It is

primarily known as Contemplative Prayer. It is also known as centering prayer, listening

prayer, breath prayer, and prayer of the heart. Promoters promise physical, mental and spiritual benefits desiring to bring about positive social change. The essential function of contemplative prayer is to enter an altered state of consciousness in order to find one’s true self, thus striving to find God.



Proponents of contemplative prayer teach that all human beings have a divine center and that all, not just born again believers, should practice contemplative prayer. To achieve the state of

emptiness, one uses a “mantra,” a word or phrase repeated over and over to focus the mind while

striving to go deep within oneself. The effects are a hypnotic-like state: concentration

upon one thing, disengagement from other stimuli, a high degree of openness to

suggestion, a psychological and physiological condition that externally resembles sleep

but in which consciousness is interiorized and the mind subject to suggestion.



Contemplative prayer claims for itself the experience of God, while setting aside external

realities and overcoming the “otherness” of God. It takes these characteristics not from

Christian tradition but from Hinduism, through the medium of Transcendental

Meditation. The practice of TM is Hinduism adapted by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, a

Hindu guru, for use in a Western cultural setting. Fr. Pennington, one of the authors of

centering prayer and an ardent supporter of TM, says, “Mahesh Yogi, employing the

terminology of the ancient Vedic tradition, speaks of this ‘to plunge into deep, deep rest

for fifteen or twenty minutes twice a day’ as experiencing the Absolute.”


The prayertechnique may also incorporate the Buddhist Zen practice of Zazen, or sitting

meditation, which involves the detached observation of the thoughts.



Paul writes in scripture, “So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also

pray with my mind; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind.” (I

Corinthians 14:15 NIV). He does not say that he will pray with the spirit and clear the

mind, but with the spirit AND the mind. Clearing ones mind as to be vacant, and trusting

God to fill it with whatever He desires, not only has no biblical grounding but also is an

open invitation to spiritual invasion of unfriendly familiars. Buddhists call this state

Nirvana or Satori, the New Age calls it “at-one-ness”, and Christian mystics perceive they

have experienced some kind of ecstatic union with God.


“Mike Bickle, director of the International House of Prayer claims that God is restoring

contemplative prayer to the church. He goes on to claim that contemplative prayer is a

God ordained means of entering into the fullness of God, and that the brightest lights in

church history have been Roman Catholic mystics who lived during the dark ages. He

went on to say the western church had much to learn from these mystics …



[ Mike Bickle states]: “Everybody is called to live in the contemplative lifestyle. Everyone!

Everyone! Everyone! That’s one of the great strongholds we have to overcome resistance

to contemplative prayer.'” “The Protestant wing of the western church, which is a tiny

percentage of the Body of Christ…, is nearly completely (98%) unaware that the Holy

Spirit is restoring contemplative prayer—center stage—to the church… The Holy Spirit is

restoring this precious jewel (contemplative prayer) to the body of Christ. This is the God

ordained means of attaining the fullness of God.”


Mike Bickle quotes from the contemplatives (his word for mystics) and announces that he will be teaching from the Sacred Pathways (which promotes the carrying of symbols or icons,

choosing a mantra and visualizing God). Each one of these things is contradictory to the

Word of God, which forbids imagery and vain repetitions in prayer.


He insists we need to study the lives and writings of the Roman Catholic mystics, and

because the bookstore chain of Barnes and Nobles has carried so many books in this

regard, he says (in all earnestness) that “B & N is prophesying to the church that we need

the mystics,” and he wants to know why the church isn’t picking up on the fact that God is

calling the entire Body of Christ to live lifestyles of contemplative prayer?


Mike Bickle says the most inspiring light in all of Christianity came from the Roman

Catholic mystics during the dark ages.



These are all quotes from Bickle on the mystics:


“mystics is a legitimate term… I don’t want to fight the war…so I’m just saying

contemplative prayer, but I mean the mystics—even here at IHOP I say, lets just stay

with contemplatives …I don’t have time to argue… so I call them the contemplatives…. I

don’t want to go into the semantics, the debates…so, I’m calling it the contemplatives… I

don’t have time to argue… but I need the mystics.”


“They, the mystics, are some of the brightest lights in all of history… there has been the brightest

lights in all history for men and women of abandonment in the dark ages… somewhere

we have to say the dark ages were the luminaries in the grace of God…they were

Catholic priests.”



“…a study of the lives of the mystics, the contemplatives, through history, and clearly

the most inspiring, compelling examples of history, in my world, have come out of the

Catholic dark ages. I can’t find anything like it in modern times, in America, in the

protestant world.”



“…we need a little Holy Spirit catalytic jump start. We need to see where a few have

gone before us, and say if they did we can, and we can go further… and if you’re going

to go deep into that well, I’m sad to say, the vast majority of them are going to have

Catholic roots in history.”


The writings of Father Thomas Keating (the modern day father of contemplative prayer)

are also promoted at IHOP. Mike Bickle says he is an example for us of “a way to a

deeper life in God.” He went on to say, “The protestant world is in great need of

examples like these that will beckon us to the fullness of God.” – audio message

Contemplative Prayer pt1 by Mike Bickle



So essentially, Mike Bickle is telling the Body of Christ is that we are woefully deficient in having lost God’s fullness and need to look to New Age Eastern philosophy and to Roman Catholic mystics as examples in how to restore it.


And his advice to questioning, spiritually languishing, and anguishing souls (who didn’t

know their real problem was that they wanted more of God—until he told them so) is

this, “Don’t evaluate yourself, don’t evaluate others. Just keep going after it.” – audio

message Contemplative Prayer pt1 by Mike Bickle


In plain language that means don’t read or listen to anything discerningly or analytically.

Don’t question anything or anybody—not even yourself (except evangelicals of course).

Just go with what feels right. 


… I wonder if Jim Jones, David Koresh, Stewart Traill, Aum Shinrikyo, Charles Manson, Claude Vorilhon and Joseph di Mambro told their followers the same thing….  don’t question it, don’t think about it, don’t analyze it, just go with what feels right.”


Because, as Mike Bickle says, “the Holy Spirit offends the mind.”   I’m offended all right, but it isn’t by the Holy Spirit.  It’s by the false teachers that twist Scripture and lie in the name of the Lord.




About stopihopcult

I am a believer in Jesus Christ, as my Savior and I love God and stand up for the truth of His Word. In this stance, I am against IHOP (International House of Prayer) because of their cult activity, tactics of mental and emotional manipulation, distortion of God's Word, and consortation with demonic spirits. IHOP is a cult.
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