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By Roy Hammerling

'Prayer is actual religion,' stated Auguste Sabatier. if this is the case, the educational learn of prayer permits students to check the very middle of spiritual practices, ideals, and convictions. seeing that prayers exist in a large choice of content material, contexts, types, and practices, a accomplished method of the examine of prayer is needed.

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2. 32 l. edward phillips Peter and John went to the Temple to pray at the ninth hour of the day (Acts 3:1). Furthermore, while unambiguous evidence of Christians gathering for a daily prayer office does not appear until the fourth century, there are indications in the historical witnesses that this impulse is present earlier in descriptions of private prayer at set hours. ”3 Jewish Antecedents In the first half of the twentieth century, scholarship focused largely on the development of the liturgical office of daily prayer.

Prayer was the highest form of reason and the simplest expression of devotion, all in one. Prayer is spirituality, as Benedicta Ward has noted, hence, by studying prayer, the scholar studies the world, both physical and metaphysical, as the people of old saw it. As a result, modern scholars have little hope of understanding their forbearers if they cannot understand that act which was at the core of their consciousness, namely prayer. 13 Jürgen Moltmann, “Horizons of Hope: A Critique of ‘Spe Salvi,’ ” Christian Century Vol.

While the preceding scholars are in some way all church historians, theologians, and liturgical scholars their particular foci construct a broader picture of how prayer developed over time in the earliest days of the Christian tradition. Philips relies on liturgical documents; Froehlich’s closely examines patristic theology and archeological sources focused on the LP; Hammerling emphasizes texts dealing with tensions 16 introduction over interpretation of the LP; Brown not only looks at Gregory of Nyssa, but also the economic Roman world around him; and Stewart zeros in on the importance of prayer in the Rule of Benedict—one of the most influential documents of the middle ages—in a way that has never been done before.

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