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25 results for prayer found within the Blog

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Fasting: A spiritual and physical discipline

Posted by Luke J. Wilson on 27th May 2019 in Fasting | fasting,didache,discipline,self control,Lent,early church,early church fathers

The topic of fasting often comes up in online discussion groups that I'm a part of, more often in Protestant circles where the practice is more often sidelined in low churches. So let's take a look at the practice of fasting from a practical and historical view, as it seems to be a spiritual discipline which has been pushed aside in many churches today, with prayer, worship and bible reading taking more precedence in a Christian's life instead (not that those are bad things to do!). Why fast? There are many reasons to fast, and recent studies have shown a lot of health benefits that can be derived from fasting. But on the spiritual side of life, there are also...
 

Great Lent

Posted by Luke J. Wilson on 13th February 2016 in Fasting | Lent,Easter,Fasting,prayer,early church,early church fathers,paganism,pagan roots

...prolonged prayers, and fastings... –Athanasius, Letter III I won't go into much more detail on the history of Lent and Easter (or pascha), but I hope you can see from this brief intro that the practice has been well established in the historical Church since the beginning, and isn't a "new" or invented thing merged from/with paganism and fertility goddesses. So with that said, let's take a look at the practice of fasting. It seems to be a spiritual discipline which has been pushed aside in many churches today, with prayer, worship and bible reading taking more precedence in a Christian's life instead (not that those are bad things to do!). Why fast? F...
 

Spiritual Disciplines of the Early Church: Ancient Practices for the 21st Century

Posted by Luke J. Wilson on 17th June 2019 in Early Church |

...turgy and prayers in a church service would start to face East as that was seen where God’s glory arose, and in baptism ritual turning East was a sign of turning away from the devil towards Christ (Jews similarly prayed facing Jerusalem). This is also why many old church buildings are cross-shaped and have the alter end pointing Eastward. For it is required that you pray toward the east, as knowing that which is written: ‘Give ye glory to God, who rideth upon the heaven of heavens toward the east’ (Ps 67.34 LXX [Ps. 68:33 – 34]). Didascalia, Ch. XII (c.250) The various spiritual benefits to fasting are marked throughout the Church Fathers' works o...
 

I am one with the Force; the Force is with me – A Star Wars theology

Posted by Luke J. Wilson on 31st December 2016 in prayer | prayer,Star Wars,Chirrut Imwe,The Force,Jesus prayer,unity,Holy Spirit,mantra

... and ‘prayer’ to how our life as Christians ought to be concerning the work of the Spirit in and through us. I found this encouraging and it reminded me of an ancient Christian mantra-like prayer which is still prayed today in certain places and Church branches. This is the Jesus prayer:   "Lord Jesus Christ Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner"   This prayer is short and repetitive much like the Star Wars Force prayer, and was also first introduced by a monk (though a hermit monk rather than a warrior monk!). From the history of the Jesus prayer I once read, it was the quest of a young monk who wanted to fully understand Paul’s encouragement to ...
 

What is Contemplative prayer?

Posted by Luke J. Wilson on 09th February 2016 in prayer | contemplation,prayer,meditate,meditation,waiting on the Lord,silence,Christian meditation,Lectio Divina

...In the quiet, still silence, I await my God.   There seems to be some misgivings about the idea of “contemplative prayer” (also referred to as Christian Meditation) and in some of the descriptions I've read, I would agree that it can seem iffy. Contemplation, or sometimes known as Lectio Divina, is in its most basic form, the idea and practice of waiting on the Lord. Often in silence or while you ponder on scripture or when you seek an answer or just to rest in his presence and have your strength renewed. There are some people who think that this means “emptying your mind” and doing something akin to occultism, and ope...
 

Francis Chan turns towards a more historical and ancient view of Communion

Posted by Luke J. Wilson on 14th January 2020 in General Interest | eucharist,communion,francis chan,church fathers,church history,controversy

... and from prayer, because they confess not the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins, and which the Father, of His goodness, raised up again.”— Ignatius Of Antioch: Letter To The Smyrnaeans (c.108 AD) At first reading I was stuck by the literal nature in which Ignatius spoke of the Eucharist (communion), and as I read more of the Early Church Fathers, that same, common thread kept appearing: they all held to a view of Communion which was definitely more than simply a symbol or memorial (you can read some more quotes on the topic here). Chan later talks about unity in the early church and how he longs to see that...
 
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