Centering Prayers is a collection of inspired prayers crafted as brief preludes or postludes to periods of personal, contemplative prayer. Each radiates God’s love. Tailored for the seasons and months of the year, they integrate a spiritual theology with certain mystical depth. You will want to read them slowly and pray them quietly, one day at a time.
"In Daily Companion, Peter Haas offers intimate prayers that rest on the deep rooted tradition of his faith. His vulnerability and longing lead you to your own journey. His fearless asking: Strengthen me in love. Draw me into your life, draw you to deeper places. He acknowledges, You are the shadow that crosses near in the silence of prayer. Praying these prayers with Haas becomes a daily chant reminiscent of those in monasteries the world over, kneeling in prayer in the silent hours before dawn."
Author of Gift of the Red Bird, Waking Up to This Day
Prayer is essentially a relationship. People who pray only when they have a need are obviously ignorant of what prayer is all about. They will be swimming in shallow waters of spirituality, getting only their feet wet in terms of spiritual growth, only to leave the pool when nothing substantial needs to be prayed for or about. When the next need arises, such people will step back in the waters. Without realizing that prayer is a relationship, such people will not venture beyond to deeper waters, and learning how to seek God and to depend on God totally. For Presbyterian minister Dr. Peter Traben Haas, centering prayers are to assist people to go deeper into the love of God. A brief prayer is offered each day for a full year, all of them designed to help one cultivate this relationship with God. Each month begins with a brief spiritual meditation. January is about one being known by God. February exhorts the seeking of Truth. March is an invitation to cultivate the relationship with God. April prepares one to focus on the crucifixion, the death, and the resurrection of Christ. May reminds one about being liberated toward gracious living. June shows one the light and presence of God. July guides one toward accepting God as our spiritual companion. August teaches us to listen and practice awareness of our surroundings. September teaches us that God is true wisdom and we ought to seek Him whenever we need wisdom. October invites one to connect with God more as the Autumn season commences. November builds trust. December tells us to wait, watch, and wonder at the marvelous love of God through Christ who dwells among us.
There are three things I like about this book. Firstly, it is the brevity of the daily prayers. It reminds me that prayers need not be long and unwieldy. Short prayers help us to remmber what we pray. It allows us to focus. It allows us to use the least number of words to maximize our spiritual sensitivities. Although on some days in which are prayers are longer, the idea is simple and often centered on a main theme. Despite the additional words, readers will be able to sense that there is a big idea in each of these long prayers. Take hold of this big idea and center our prayers accordingly. Second, there is usually one single thought of God's character each day. The prayers are directed with a focus on the character of God. Rather than coming to God with a full laundry list of our requests for quail and manna, it focuses on growing the awareness of God's presence in our lives. Far too often, people pray without settling themselves down to listen.The prayers enable us to focus and listen for God's character to reflect back to us. Thirdly, each prayer is an attempt to help readers use the prayers to connect with God. This is the biggest reason to buy this book. With regular praying, one's ability to connect with God will be strengthened each day. For human beings are creatures of habit. Once they embark upon a year long program to center their prayers toward a relationship with God, their prayer life will be transformed. Indeed, when this happens, people will want to pray more and more. Then, one will no longer be contended with anything that is "pray to get" but a joy exuberant from one who "gets to pray."
-Dr. Conrad Yap, Panorama of A Book Saint- November 2013
Paraclete Press sent me a review copy of Centering Prayers: A One-Year Daily Companion for Going Deeper into the Love of God by Peter Traben Haas. In the preface, the author (who is a pastor, and the founder of ContemplativeChristians.com) talks about his hopes that these brief daily prayers will “nourish a deepening experience of God’s love, especially when read as a prelude or postlude to periods of contemplative prayer.” They’re beautifully-written prayers, most of them just a few sentences long, that use evocative language for God (the prayers are addressed to “Eternal Love,” “Source of the Creation,” “Beloved Comforter.”) The language is immensely soothing; it’s astonishing how some well-chosen words like these can actually calm my heartbeat and my breathing. I’ve been reading the prayers daily at my prayer desk, either in the morning or (even better) in the evening, when I have the time to ponder each word slowly.Wherever you are in your prayer life — beginner, or seasoned veteran — this book has something to offer you.
Ginny Kubitz Moyer, Random Acts of Momness