Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Learning the Prayer
Learning the prayer is easy. Discovering its ample graces occurs with regular practice. Both learning and regular practice is best done with the support of a small prayer group in your church or religious community.
Seek a small group program
Do not try to learn the prayer by reading all about it on this website. The best way to learn the prayer is by joining a Companioned Prayer group or forming one in your church or religious community. Your first four meetings will likely be learning sessions, followed by continuing to participate in the Companioned Prayer group, typically meeting weekly. All meetings only take about an hour-and-a-half. After four to six prayer group meetings following the learning sessions, you will want to participate in a one- or two-day Companioned Prayer retreat, as soon as one is available.
If there is no Companioned Prayer small group ministry near you, simply get together with a friend or two in your church or religious community, and with the support of your pastor, start practicing the prayer using the Basic Learning Program Handouts on the Resources page. Then you have started a prayer group!
This CPCF website is available for churches and religious communities to list their upcoming and ongoing Companioned Prayer programs on the Instruction and Prayer Groups page. For questions, encouragement and assistance, email the CPCF at info@CompanionedPrayer.org.
Discovering the graces of the prayer over time
Learning the prayer never really stops. With regular practice over months, you will not only continue to discover the subtleties and depths of the prayer, you will also discover the rich graces and presence of God in your life. Therefore, the prayer is not something to be tried just a few times with the idea that then we know what it is.
This prayer is not just something that we do; it is time we spend being open to, and nurturing of, our awareness of God as the prime mover and shaper of our lives. And when we do that consciously and regularly, we find that we are carried forward in his hands by his love, in ways beyond our knowing, that guides us and transforms our understanding of ourselves as children of him who loves us deeply.
So in faith we turn to God in prayer and give our self to him over and over again. While it is easy to learn the steps of Companioned Prayer with a friend or in a group, learning what the prayer experience truly offers is a process of growth. It takes time because it is real; it happens within you as you grow and as your faith and experience deepen in response to God’s love.
Because the prayer experiences are subtle, it can be easy to initially dismiss their value and the value of the prayer. This seems to be true whether the initial experiences are profoundly personally meaningful or are of a more simple nature. The key to experiencing the personal growth of our formation in Christ is to understand that while individual prayer experiences gift us with God’s intimate mercy, the greater gift is his real presence to us. This is a presence of being in a personal relationship with our Lord, a presence and relationship that unfolds and develops over time as our awareness of him is nurtured through our many Companioned Prayer experiences.
Companioned Prayer includes the role of a prayer companion who reads text and accompanies the person who is praying. The prayer is offered and practiced as a Christian, interactive, contemplative prayer. The prayer experience is between the person praying and God, and requires an active faith relationship with Him or a searching for that relationship. Neither the companion nor the person praying should view the role of the companion, or the prayer practice or prayer experience, as a substitute for professional therapy or treatment. Companioned Prayer is not a form of therapeutic treatment. Neither is it spiritual direction nor spiritual or pastoral counseling. It is a private, personal prayer with the assistance and companionship of another person. Your prayer companions, the sponsoring or hosting organization and the Companioned Prayer Christian Fellowship, and their officers, members, employees and volunteers, are not responsible for your prayer experience. If you have related questions or concerns about Companioned Prayer, discuss them with your therapist, doctor and/or priest before beginning or engaging in any further practice of the prayer. You should not practice or continue to practice any prayer that you are not comfortable with. For additional information, see “Trauma and Major Illness” and “Influences of Other Prayer or Meditative Practices” in chapter 12 of the book, Companioned Prayer, available on the Supplemental Resources page, and information provided on the "CPCF Who We Are" page, here.