Saturday, June 20, 2009

Prayer Study Part 6- Formation Prayer

An ongoing study of Richard Foster's book on Prayer. Previous studies can be found here.

What is Formation Prayer?
•A process of transformation in which our lives increasingly mirror the Son’s
•Formation prayer begins when our simple prayers are not answered in the way we expect
•We begin a process of change called conversatio morum or death of the status quo

•Prayer is only one element in the process of Christian formation
•Formation prayer is both an active and passive process
•We are both pursuing God and being pursued by God

Model One-- The Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola
•Week 1–Contemplate our sins in the light of the love of Christ
•Week 2—Focus on the life of Christ and earnestly seek to conform our lives to his
•Week 3—Contemplate the passion of Christ and seek to die to our own idolatries
•Week 4—Contemplate the resurrection of Christ and seek the power of the Spirit to live our lives in conformity with Christ’s

Model Two—St. Benedict’s Rule
•Composed of 12 steps toward humility
•“Humility means to live as close to the truth as possible”
•Reverence God in daily life
•Confess any sinful thought or action to God
•Do God’s will instead of our own
•Cultivate silence in place of idle speech
•Use plain, simple speech
•Endure “with patience the injuries and afflictions we face”
•“Be content in all things”

Model Three--The Little Way
•Based on the approach of St. Therese of Lisieux
•“To seek out the menial job, to welcome unjust criticisms, to befriend those who annoy us, to help those who are ungrateful”
•A way of life that anyone can engage in everyday

•Will be viewed by others as selfish and slothful
•We learn to let go of the opinions of others
•Our true self is unmasked
•“Solitude gives us the power not to win the rat race but to ignore the rat race altogether.”
Other Ways to do Formation Prayer
•Contemplate our own death
•Brings humility
•Best done in light of Gal. 2:19—what does it mean to be crucified with Christ?
•Practice the prayer of docility
•Surrender ourselves to the hands of God, the potter
•A bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench. Isaiah 42:3


alaiyo said...

Thanks for this -- a real encouragement.

eutychus said...

My pleasure. Glad you enjoy it

Anonymous said...

Found this little saying a long time ago.
"The true elegance of prayer
is letting go of the results,
confident that our needs will be
met, maybe not in the exact form
we had envisioned but ultimately
in a better way."

eutychus said...

Anonymous- That's a great quote. Thanks for sharing.