The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Kneeling With Giants: Learning to Pray with History's Best Teachers

There is no one-size-fits-all prayer practice. Anyone seeking guidance into the devotional life can pick and choose from an amazing array of resources.

Gary Neal Hansen, a professor of church history, has assembled an accessible paperback on 10 ways to pray from teachers in a variety of traditions including Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, Reformed, evangelical and charismatic. He says the goal of the book is "to deepen your journey with God in the next season of your life."

book coverAmong those chosen to mentor readers are St. Benedict on "The Divine Office," Ignatius Loyola on "The Prayer of the Senses," and Teresa of Avila on "The Presence of God."

Hansen devotes a chapter to how Martin Luther used the Lord's Prayer to structure a time of prayer. Believers repeat this prayer regularly but often lose its multiple meanings because they don't really pay attention to the words.

Luther comments on each phrase of the prayer and concludes: "To this day I suckle at the Lord's Prayer like a child, and as an old man eat and drink from it and never get my fill. It is the very best prayer" (IVP Books).


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