Voices In Christian Formation: Richard Foster

BY Doug Jones

September 20, 2012


Voices in Christian Formation is a post series to help introduce some of the contemporary authors and speakers we can learn from as it pertains to our Christian formation. The series will focus on critical components of our Christian formation and provide a short bibliography to investigate the topic further.

Richard Foster is a prominent Protestant voice in the area of Christian formation. His book Celebration of Discipline, more than thirty years old now, was an instant classic on the topic of Christian formation and continues to introduce people to helpful Christian exercises. Foster continues to write, and we will consider one of his more recent books today, Sanctuary of the Soul.

Foster writes, “Oh, let me tell you how much God desires our presence. How much God longs to hear from us. How much God yearns to communicate with us… From the human side of this equation it is meditative prayer that ushers us into this divine-human fellowship” (p. 15).

He continues to explore meditative prayer: “In meditative prayer we are…learning to sink down into the light and life of Christ and becoming comfortable in this posture. We experience the perpetual presence of the Lord not just as theological dogma but as radiant reality” (p. 25).

He then admits, “The tradition of meditation is long and profound all through the life of the church. But today serious teaching and practice from a Christian perspective is minuscule, if present at all” (p. 60).

Throughout the rest of this work, he explores meditative prayer through three basic approaches:

  1. Being present where you are
  2. Beholding the Lord
  3. Inward attentiveness

Are we learning about this kind of prayer to aid our relationship with God and our ability to join him in mission in our world?

Are we growing in our devotion and connection with the living God in our everyday lives?

Might exploring the practice of meditative prayer be helpful in this endeavor?

You can explore this topic further:

Other Resources:

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