The late Lutheran systematic theologian Robert Jenson was once asked what he, as a proponent of grace over works, thought of all the popular aids to prayer found in the burgeoning industry of spirituality (many from the more catholic side of the aisle): beads, icons, arrow prayers, repetition, silence, etc. He replied that he was for anything that helped to make him a better hearer of God’s Word. It is a great answer. He was at once open to many kinds of help - so long as all were understood only as means, and subordinated to the Word of God. There can be no technology of prayer. But we in our culture could use some quiet, some focus, some engagement of the senses, some accommodation to our personality type.
Showing items filed under “J: The Kneelers, the Chapel: The Spiritual Life ”
There are indeed many aids, but ‘first among equals’ for us as Anglicans is of course the Prayer Book. here are some reasons it is spiritually important:
- our praying is connected across continents and centuries.
- the offices of morning, midday, evening prayer, and compline are aimed toward by grace the consecration of our days (for all the people of God, and not just religious orders, as had been true previously). The pastoral offices to something similar to the life cycle.
- the rite of confession is a great comfort for the troubled conscience
- the lectionaries are an ordered way to hear the whole witness of Scripture.
- the creeds, catechisms, and historical documents like the articles remind us of the treasure of the faith we inherit.
Study the table of contents and read a section you were not aware of.