Prayer: The first principle of ascetical theology

Posted by tom | Aug 5, 2012

Spiritual Theology: A Systematic Study of the Christian Life

Prayer is the first principle of ascetical theology in that it is the one act on which all other spiritual exercises depend. Meditation is preliminary to prayer; self-examination leads us to confession; spiritual reading directs the soul to a listening posture. Prayer is also the first principle in that the theological principles discussed in part one [of the book] are activated through prayer. In prayer one enters into relationship with the Trinity, undergoes mortification and grows in the virtues. One becomes a practicing Christian by practicing prayer. -- Simon Chan. Spiritual Theology: A Systematic Study of Christian Life. InterVarsity Press, 1998, 127.

Quote from my readings for a July class on Theology & The Practice of Prayer taught by Laurie Mellinger, Evangelical Seminary, Myerstown, PA.

In partnership with the church, Evangelical Seminary develops servant leaders for transformational ministry in a broken and complex world by nurturing rigorous minds, passionate hearts, and Christ-centered actions.

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