Today we find three different groupings in the practice of silence and silent prayer.
Silent Prayer of Scripture

This is practised to a greater or lesser degree by every Christian. We all fall into silent wonder and awe at times to glorify our God. This course simply develops this platform. We go back and join our brothers and sisters in the early churches, the communities in Rome, Antioch and Damascus and the like. What we do today rhymes with what they did. It is part of the heritage of every baptised person. It is the steadfast prayer of Acts 2:42
Silent Prayer in the Denominations

Around about the 1st century we see the development of monasticism and the triple way, [purgative, illuminative, unitive]. One-to-one relationship, self-purification, and internalisation are foci. Between the 14th and 16th Century we add the layer of mystical teachings which take one into a cloud of mystery and unknowing. Our legacy today is practices rooted in this rich, historical tradition.
Silent Prayer and Silence

In the middle of the 20th Century a new movement grew out of the monastic traditions. By syncretism (mixing with) with other faiths, amongst other practices, new ways of bringing a sense of calmness by self-effort alone were introduced and developed. Some of the major Christian practices we have today, given names by the participants themselves, are called christian mindfulness, christian meditation, christian yoga, christian contemplation and centring prayer.
Litmus Test

The Lord does give us such wonderful guidance in Scripture. Read John 17, Jesus’s Prayer for all believers and see to what extent Jesus’s Prayer is being realised in your practice of silent prayer or silence.