In a previous post I mentioned the current issue of Christian Reflection in which my article "Learning to Pray" appeared. Now I've had a chance to read the whole issue, which I think is one of the best issues the Baylor University Center for Christian Ethics has produced thus far (my article notwithstanding). Here's editor Robert Kruschwitz's overview of the main articles in this issue on "Prayer":
"The practice of prayer can be 'the deepest decentering of the self, deep enough to begin dismantling...that burning preoccupation with myself,' notes Merold Westphal. Our contributors explore how faithful prayer opens us to God's gracious activity and forms us in Christ-like ways of perceiving, caring for, and acting in the world.
Paul Griffiths reflects on the scriptural injunction to 'pray without ceasing,' to make every aspect of our lives a prayer. Steven Harmon shows we can learn much about prayer, and the God to whom we pray, from ancient Church practices of the 'collect' form of prayer and singing the Psalter. Ruth Haley Barton heartily commends fixed-hour prayer, for it 'anchors our daily lives in rhythms of prayer, Scripture reading, and silence, ensuring that we do not get too far into any day without reorienting ourselves to the presence of God.'
Do prayers affect God and change the world? 'To embrace prayer as a force for change,' Todd Edmondson writes, 'we must stop thinking of it as just a human action' and 're-envision prayer as a relationship involving God, the world God has created, and the Church.'"
In addition, the issue includes meditations on Christian art depicting prayer by Baylor University art historian Heidi Hornik; a moving pastoral meditation on "Prayer in Eclipse" by Ken Massey, pastor of First Baptist Church in Greensboro, NC; and an article reviewing recent books on the Lord's Prayer by John Inscore Essick, my former student at Campbell University Divinity School who is now Assistant Professor of Church History at the Baptist Seminary of Kentucky.
The issue in its entirety as well as the individual articles are available for download as PDF files from the Baylor University Center for Christian Ethics web site. It's rewarding reading.