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New every morning is your love, great God of light, and all day long you are working for good in the world. Stir up in us desire to serve you, to live peacefully with our neighbors and all your creation, and to devote each day to your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

"A Liturgy for Morning Prayer,"" Upper Room Worshipbook

Reprinted by permission from the Book of Common Worship, © 2018 Westminster John Knox Press. All rights reserved. This prayer appears in “A Liturgy for Morning Prayer” in Upper Room Worshipbook.

Forty Days to a Closer Walk with God

The Practice of Centering Prayer

J. David Muyskens • October 2006

BUY Print $14.99

BUY eBook (Available in ePub or Kindle) $9.99

It's been said that Centering Prayer is like two friends sitting together in silence, just being in each other's presence—completely natural and comfortable. Yet, Centering Prayer is sometimes viewed as too mysterious, too escapist, too hard. At first, it even appeared that way to the author, but events in his life and his further studies about prayer changed his views.

Through Muyskens' insightful guidance, you'll explore a method of prayer that goes deeper than verbal conversations with God. This book teaches:

  • silent communion with God
  • a method of being open to the gift of God's presence
  • a way of receiving a deep ad intimate relationship with God

Each day's reading has a focal scripture verse and the author's reflection, ending with simple suggestions for contemplative prayer. You'll begin with as few as 5 minutes of Centering Prayer. By following the guidance in this book for 40 days, you will be led to a closer relationship with God.

As you progress through the daily scripture and meditative readings in Forty Days to a Closer Walk with God, you'll find greater understanding and fresh awareness of Jesus' promise, "I am with you always."


Rev. Dr. J. David Muyskens (1934–2017) graduated from Northwestern College (Iowa), Central College (Iowa), Western Theological Seminary (Michigan), and Princeton Theological Seminary (New Jersey) with a Doctor of Ministry. He served as pastor of three churches in New Jersey: Pottersville Reformed Church; First Reformed Church, Union City; and First Reformed Church, New Brunswick. Muyskens retired to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was a spiritual director; member of Contemplative Outreach; and practiced centering prayer, a Protestant expression of contemplative prayer. He authored two books on centering prayer: Forty Days to a Closer Walk with God: The Practice of Centering Prayer and Sacred Breath: 40 Days of Centering Prayer, both published by Upper Room Books.

ISBN: 978-0-8358-9904-8

Kindle ISBN: 978-0-8358-1264-1

EPub ISBN: 978-0-8358-1265-8

Imprint: Upper Room

Pub Date: 20061001

Trim Size: 6 in (w) x 9 in (h) x 0.309 in (d)

Page Count: 144

BISAC Categories: RELIGION / Christian Living / Prayer

BISAC1: REL012080

BISAC2: REL034030

BISAC3: REL012120

"Our contemporary age hungers for greater depth and wholeness that is available in contemplative Christian spirituality. Muyskens invites his readers to discover and experience the healing presence and indwelling intimacy of our Triune God through centering prayer. This practical and balanced guide will be a welcome resource for those who are seeking to become more attentive to God’s gracious presence and responsive to the needs of others."
— Tom Schwanda Associate Professor of Christian Formation and Ministry Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois

"I am deeply impressed with this informative and insightful book inspired by David Muyskens’ life-changing experience of Centering Prayer. Drawing from a rich variety of both Catholic and Protestant spiritual resources, plus daily contemplative prayer practices and meditations on scripture, he leads us gently into an ever-deepening friendship with God."
— Don Postema Emeritus Campus Pastor Campus Chapel, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

"This book offers the reader new to contemplative prayer an accessible, personally oriented way of living into such prayer over a forty-day period. It is full of insightful scriptural, historical, and biographical references that help the reader enter into Christian contemplative tradition and practice."
— Tilden Edwards Founder and Senior Fellow Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation