Ruth Haley Barton and Contemplative Prayer




Christian Missionary Alliance and Focus on the Family Canada leading Christians across the Contemplative Bridge




Ruth Haley Barton Was Trained at the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation

What Does Shalem Institute Believe
and Teach?

"This mystical stream [contemplative prayer] is the Western bridge to Far Eastern spirituality … It is no accident that the most active frontier between Christian and Eastern religions today is between contemplative Christian monks and their Eastern equivalents
" Tilden Edwards, Shalem Founder


A Time of Departing
by Ray Yungen -
addresses Ruth Haley Barton

A Time of Departing by Ray Yungen

Lighthouse Trails Print Booklet Tracts

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Ruth Haley Barton, Contemplative Prayer,
and the Spiritual Formation Movement


Ruth Haley Barton is the former associate director of spiritual formation at Willow Creek Community Church. Here's what she says about contemplative prayer:

"Ask for a simple prayer to express your willingness to meet God in the silence … a simple statement …such as "Here I am." … Help yourself return to your original intent by repeating the prayer that you have chosen." —Ruth Haley Barton Quotes taken from Discipleship Journal Vol. 113 1999

What Is She Doing Now That She Has Left Willow Creek Community Church?

She Is Founder of the

The Transforming Center

Quotes from Barton's Followers

"Ruth Haley Barton's Invitation to Solitude and Silence: Experiencing God's Transforming Presence, is a good first step in this direction. She presents contemplative prayer in a manner that most evangelicals will be comfortable with."

"Ruth Haley Barton, who studied spiritual direction at the well-respected Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation, makes it clear that An Ordinary Day With Jesus is not a drive through experience, but the embodying of ancient disciplines and practices that can revolutionize our lives, over the slow, long haul."
Byron Borger

From Her Own Mouth

"A few years ago, I began to recognize an inner chaos in my soul . . . No matter how much I prayed, read the Bible, and listened to good teaching, I could not calm the internal roar created by questions with no answers." "Beyond Words:Experience God's presence in silence and solitude "

"I sought out a spiritual director, someone well versed in the ways of the soul … eventually this wise woman said to me, … ‘What you need is stillness and silence so that the sediment can settle and the water can become clear.’ … I decided to accept this invitation to move beyond my addiction to words."






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Contemplative Spirituality: A belief system that uses ancient mystical practices to induce altered states of consciousness (the silence) and is rooted in mysticism and the occult but often wrapped in Christian terminology. The premise of contemplative spirituality is pantheistic (God is all) and panentheistic (God is in all). Common terms used for this movement are "spiritual formation," "the silence," "the stillness," "ancient-wisdom," "spiritual disciplines," and many others.

Spiritual Formation: A movement that has provided a platform and a channel through which contemplative prayer is entering the church. Find spiritual formation being used, and in nearly every case you will find contemplative spirituality. In fact, contemplative spirituality is the heartbeat of the spiritual formation movement.