Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.
Learn To Live Fearlessly
God exhorted the Israelites to “fear not” repeatedly in the Old Testament. Jesus said “do not worry about your life.” Yet still we worry. Still fear drives our decisions. As a result, we become frustrated and angry. The Bible is clear that fear and worry not only separate us from God’s grace and love but also make us miserable. Sadly, however, the how-to-instructions for avoiding worry provided in the Bible are not detailed enough for most of us.
The good news is we can learn to live more fearlessly. We can train our minds to change the channel from worry to living in the mind of Christ. That’s not to say worry thoughts won’t come. Rather, we can develop the habits to let go before our worries multiply and grow.
That’s where Christians Meditate St Louis is different. We teach and practice the practical tools needed to manage worry and fear — and we practice contemplative prayer to strengthen trust in God’s love and grace. It’s a powerful combination!
What We Hear From Participants
One participant reports, I didn’t know I had a choice to worry or not. Already I am worrying less. I don’t feel so restless when I sit down to pray. Another participant explains, My mind always wandered when I tried to sit silently with God so I stopped trying. Now I realize that’s what minds do. It’s all about bringing my attention back to God’s love not clearing my mind.
Another says, For part of my home practice, I decided to walk from the car to the house after work each night in silent prayer. Boy was it hard the first two nights. My mind was everywhere but on God. But it got easier each day. After a week, I started to look forward to those 20 feet and that brief moment in solitude with God.
A participant reports, I feel change happening inside me. I worry less and am content more often. I feel God’s presence in my everyday life. I’ve never felt like this before. It’s what I’ve always wanted. Another participant says, I’ve always known there was something more. Now I feel like I’m on a path that will lead to greater fulfillment.
Participants have a lot more to say about the classes and the impact on their lives.Read more of what they have to say.
Classes & Retreats
Christians Meditate St Louis is a new collaboration of two fully licensed clinical therapists in the greater St Louis region who combine contemplative prayer with tools of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to heal worry and fear that separate us from God’s presence in our everyday lives. We partner with churches to offer classes and retreats in contemplative prayer for interested adults, couples, young adults and teens as well as clergy, staff and lay leaders.
Christians Meditate St Louis offers churches two classes each with a different purpose and custom retreats tailored to meet the unique needs and interests of your group.
- Living Mindfully in Christ: Praying from the Heart is the foundation of our program. This eight week experiential class combines contemplative prayer with tools of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Led by a licensed clinical therapist, the cognitive elements of the class are research-based. The teaching of contemplative prayer draws from the Bible, contemplative writers from over the ages and the modern Christian contemplatives as well as the 30+ years contemplative prayer practice of the group leader.
- For churches that want to address the mental health needs of congregants with clinical depression or anxiety disorders, Christians Meditate St Louis, in collaboration with St Louis DBT , offers the 10 week Mindful Way Through Depression and Anxiety. This is an opportunity to bring Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), an evidence-based approach led by fully licensed clinicians, to your members in the safety of your church.
- Christians Meditate St Louis also offers 3-hour to 3-day custom-designed Mindfulness and Meditation Retreats for youth, seniors, women’s and men’s groups, support groups, Sunday School classes, committees and leadership groups.
What To Expect
Meditation teaches us to notice and let go of our worry thoughts and CBT teaches us to refocus our thoughts in the mind of Christ. With practice, participants learn to worry less and live more fearlessly in the present.
These learn-by-doing classes meet weekly during the week for two hours with a full day retreat toward the end of the class. Classes can be scheduled during the day or evening based on the needs of each group.
In each class, we meditate, share experiences and learn through guided discussions and experiential exercises. Between class home practice is essential to developing the habit of daily meditation. Participants commit to practice meditation and mindfulness 30 -40 minutes a day between classes.
Want to “Test Drive” a Class or Retreat?
Christians Meditate St Louis piloted two classes at Trinity Episcopal Church in St Charles in the spring of 2019. This summer, we led an online class through MeditationChapel.org — a collaboration between Contemplative Outreach and the World Community for Christian Meditation (WCCM) — with participants from two countries and five states. We plan to continue offering the online classes. We also are leading a summer class at St Martin’s Episcopal Church in Ellisville.
We have a full schedule of classes lined up for fall 2019, including more classes at Trinity Episcopal in St Charles with the plan to cultivate a core group who will form and sustain an ongoing contemplative prayer group at the church.
We are seeking interested churches to further “test drive” a class or retreat in spring and summer 2020 at no cost to your church or participants. Participants will be asked to make a freewill offering weekly. To learn more, contact Sandra Miller, MSW, LCSW at firstname.lastname@example.org or 314-399-8568.