Thanks to Christine Pack of Sola Sisters for the recommendation of this article
Of all the spiritual disciplines the Spiritual Formation Movement promotes, none is more important than prayer and the intake of God’s Word. On the surface we would expect little resistance to these two disciplines since they have been recognized as essential to spiritual growth by virtually all Christians from all traditions. Sadly, upon closer examination we discover that what is meant by most evangelical Christians when they reference prayer and Bible intake is not always what the leaders within spiritual formation mean. We begin with Donald Whitney, Associate Professor of Biblical Spirituality at Southern Seminary, who agrees with Carl Lundquist,
The New Testament church built two other disciplines upon prayer and Bible study, the Lord’s Supper and small cell groups. John Wesley emphasized five works of piety by adding fasting. The medieval mystics wrote about nine disciplines clustered around three experiences: purgation of sin, enlightenment of the spirit and union with God. Later the Keswick Convention approach to practical holiness revolved around five different religious exercises. Today Richard Foster’s book, Celebration of Discipline, lists twelve disciplines – all of them relevant to the contemporary Christian. But whatever varying religious exercises we may practice, without the two basic ones of Emmaus – prayer and Bible reading – the others are empty and powerless.