Teaching Spiritual Formation to Seminary Students
Most of our models for prayer and conversing with God are retreating models. The assignment attached to this module asks where in the bible and in Christian tradition do we find distinctively active everyday models and instructions for prayer and conversing with God?
Rather than teaching about this topic first and then setting the assignment we suggest that the assignment be done first and then class discussion follow. Students could be asked before this discussion to come prepared to either present their findings formally or informally (up to the teacher) and to share any resources they have found particularly helpful.
Most of our models for prayer and conversing with God are retreating models. Where in the Bible and in Christian tradition do we find distinctively active everyday models and instructions for prayer and conversing with God?
What are practices that help us to connect prayer and worship with work? Describe some of these examples and explain ways in which they differ from retreating models.
What have you personally found most helpful in this exploration?
External resources could include:
- Brother Lawrence The Practice of the Presence of God
- Joyce Huggett Finding God in the Fast Lane
- Norvene West Friend the Soul: A Benedictine Spirituality of Work
- Dennis Okholm Monk Habits for Everyday People
- Richard J. Foster Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home
Bible passages of interest might include:
- 1 Thessalonians 5 16-18 - ‘Pray without ceasing. Give thanks in every circumstance, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”.
- 1 Corinthians 10:31 - “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
- Colossians 3:23 - “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters….It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
- Romans 12:1 - “Offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-this is your spiritual act of worship.”
- Romans 12:12 - “be constant in prayer”
- Ephesians 6:18 - “Pray in the Spirit at all times”
- Colossians 4:2 - “Continue steadfastly in prayer”
- Philippians 4:6 - “Don’t worry about anything , but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
- Hebrews 13:15 - “Continually offer a sacrifice of praise to God”
- Also many Bible characters who are known for their work and prayer, activism and retreating: Daniel, Nehemiah, Jesus, and Paul for example.