Give over thine own willing, give over thy own running, give over thine own desiring to know or be anything and sink down to the seed which God sows in the heart, and let that grow in thee and be in thee and breathe in thee and act in thee; and thou shalt find by sweet experience that the Lord knows that and loves and owns that, and will lead it to the inheritance of Life, which is its portion.
Isaac Penington,1661, from Quaker Faith & Practice
This sinking down to the seed is the heart of our prayer, who are called to this odd way of relating to God. When we pray through the darkness, holding to the way we’ve been called into, whether the Jesus Prayer, centring prayer, or any other contemplative way, then a knowledge of God grows in us, opening very slowly, till we become aware of it not by any direct perception, but by seeing it reflected in all that is loved. That way, it is shared, and with it the grace and mercy that Christ is, with creation itself, and with each separate and longing creature that has been made.