- List All

  • Web   The Point


+ Theology/Religion + Culture + Marriage & Family + Politics + Academia + Human Rights
Christianity Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory
Religion Blogs - Blog Top Sites
Link With Us - Web Directory

« Eve of Destruction: Pushing Daisies | Main | Picturing the Credit Crisis »

March 25, 2009

Whatever Happened to Spiritual Discipline?

Praying-hands It's a perennial problem: some people think they can buy their way into heaven. Here's the latest scheme: paying for a computer program that promises to "give you the satisfaction of knowing that your prayers will always be said," even if you don't actually pray. 

For those who are tempted to purchase this spiritually deadly product, there are a number of books which can direct you on how to develop healthy spiritual discipline.

To get you started, here are two recommendations:

* The Art of Praying: The Principles and Methods of Christian Prayer by Romano Guardini

Guardini says that a person who is seriously seeking God cannot rely upon spontaneous prayer because "steadfastness would vanish." He continues, "[P]rayer is not merely an expression of the inner life which will prevail on its own, but is also a service to be performed in faith and obedience."  

Unless praying becomes a discipline, we can experience a range of negative emotions--everything from "boredom" to "hostility." Unless we develop intentional prayer, Guardini warns, all other activities besides prayer "appear...more attractive and more important."

As for forgetting to pray, as the website advertisement blithely puts it, Guardini also warns against "specious justifications." Say it like it is--you just don't feel like praying. After all, one wouldn't want to add lying to oneself or God to the list. 

* The Power of Prayer in a Believer's Life by Charles Spurgeon, edited by Robert Hall

"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:16). So begins Charles Spurgeon in his treatise on the life of prayer. 

He writes, "True prayer is an approach of the soul by the Spirit of God to the throne of God. It is not the utterance of words,  it is not alone the feeling of desires, but it is the advance of the desires to God, the spiritual approach of our nature toward the Lord our God. True prayer is neither a mere mental exercise nor a vocal performance. It is far deeper than that--it is spiritual transaction with the Creator of heaven and earth. God is a Spirit unseen of mortal eye and only to be perceived by the inner man. Our spirit within us, begotten by the Holy Ghost at our regeneration, discerns the Great Spirit, communes with Him, presents to Him its requests, and receives from Him answers of peace. True prayer is a spiritual business from beginning to end, and its aim and object end not with man but reach to God Himself."

Wow. Why would anyone buy a program which would thwart any possibility of such riches attained through the act of prayer?  

AddThis Social Bookmark Button


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Whatever Happened to Spiritual Discipline?:



Prayer is simply conversation with God. I think that Guardini may be confusing worship with prayer.

_Practicing the Presence of God_ by Brother Lawrence shows something closer to walking with God day in and day out. Or so it seems to me.

kim moreland

I disagree. Prayer is both worship and conversation with God. We are to continually--every moment of our lives--worship God.

The comments to this entry are closed.