Ed Cyzewski grew up in a restrictive Catholic Church, immersed himself in the hard-working world of evangelical Christianity as the path to knowing God, and then graduated seminary uncertain about praying or finding God.

The Christian contemplative tradition, primarily preserved in monasteries through practices such as centering prayer, was the answer he didn’t want to find. If his faith was going to survive, he needed to move beyond his past grudges in order to learn Christian meditation and contemplative prayer from Catholic teachers.

Read a sample of the Introduction.

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“Ed Cyzewski is reaching back into the history of Christian practice to recover a contemplative tradition. If you’re looking for a still point in our turning world—the silence at the heart of faithful action—you should read this book.”
—Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, author of Reconstructing the Gospel

“If you find yourself in a prayer rut, if you find your prayer life dying on the vine, pick up Flee, Be Silent, Pray and discover the freedom of contemplative prayer.”
—Seth Haines, author of Coming Clean 

“Rooted in history and ancient practices and grounded in both current politics and religious movements, Flee, Be Silent, Pray is incredibly relevant in an age of turmoil and anxiety. It’s a book I will turn to time and time again.”
—D. L. Mayfield, author of Assimilate or Go Home

“I hope evangelicals discover the contemplative prayer practices that Ed Cyzewski introduces in this fine book and incorporate them into their lives. . . . Flee, Be Silent, Pray is like a toolkit of implements we all can use to shape our souls and change the world.”
—Jon M. Sweeney, author of The Pope’s Cat series, from foreword

“This is a book that gives space for believers who need more than answers and certainties. This is a book for believers who want to find the presence of God in both life and death.”
—Caleb Wilde, author of Confessions of a Funeral Director

“This book will challenge and change you. . . . In the end you will have discovered that, instead of a typical how-to book, you have encountered a written icon: a window into God, allowing for deeper intimacy and understanding.”
—Tara Owens, author of Embracing the Body and At Play in God’s Creation

 “With gentle and hard-won wisdom, Ed Cyzewski opens our eyes to the ways our culture—both the secular and the Christian—has created ‘raw materials for anxiety production.’ His offering to anxious Christians is beautifully simple: ancient paths that reveal and heal.”
—Christiana N. Peterson, author of Mystics and Misfits 

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What if prayer could be simple rather than strenuous? Anxious, results-driven Christians can never pray enough, serve enough, or study enough. But what if God is calling us not to frenzied activity but to a simple spiritual encounter? What if we must merely receive what God has already given us?

In Flee, Be Silent, Pray, writer and contemplative retreat leader Ed Cyzewski guides readers out of the anxiety factory of contemporary Christianity and toward a God whose love astounds those quiet long enough to receive it.

With helpful guidance into solitude, contemplative prayer, and practices such as lectio divina and the Examen, Cyzewski guides readers toward the Christ whose yoke is easy and whose burden is light.

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More About This Book’s Use of Contemplative Prayer

Contemplative prayer goes beyond the limits of Bible study and experiences the loving presence of God described in the scriptures. While scripture and spiritual disciplines have their place, Cyzewski learned that the unstoppable love of God forms the foundation of all Christian spirituality, and that daily contemplative prayer helps us rest in God’s loving presence.

Using Henrí Nouwen’s The Way of the Heart to highlight the three movements into contemplation with the words flee, be silent, pray, Cyzewski found what it means to quiet his religious anxiety by resting in the love of God. Anxious Christians on the brink of losing their faith will find an accessible path toward using this simple, proven approach to daily prayer.