Ponderings: Reading and Praying

When John Wesley counseled a weary colleague to “read and pray daily; it is your life,” he was connecting with an ancient stream of Christian spirituality.  Among the various disciplines and means of grace, reading and praying occupy the top two positions  They are the mainstays of our spiritual formation.

St. Isidore of Seville wrote about the same thing in about 620 a.d., “If you want to be always in God’s presence, pray often and read often.  When we pray we speak to God; when we read, God speaks to us.  All progress comes from reading and praying, for we dispel our ignorance by reading and deepen our knowledge by meditation.” (Book of Propositions)

The two acts of reading and praying come together in the practice of Lectio Divina—a prayerful reading of Scripture and other texts as well.  I hope you are discovering the blessings and benefits of Lectio Divina, for it is the way by which the written Word becomes the living Word in us.

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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