Prayer and Devotional Life of United Methodists

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Published December 1999

This volume in the United Methodist Studies series challenges United Methodists to engage in life-transforming practices. The author explains a theme and underscores major emphases within the United Methodist denomination. This adult study is divided into four sections with suggestions for group discussion, and can be completed in 4 to 8 sessions. No leader’s guide is needed.

The sections are:
  • Living from the Heart - This chapter examines the essence of prayer and devotional life for United Methodists: holiness of heart and life. The chapter is divided into two sections to enable this examination: Communion (heart) and Compassion (life).
  •   Read and Pray Daily - Exploring these two central disciplines in Christian formation and the Wesleyan Tradition guides readers into practical expressions of what it means to read devotionally (lection divina) and pray continually (the life of prayer).
  • Get Connected! - The idea of "connectionalism" is a significant part of our tradition. This chapter examines this idea from two vantage points of classic formation principles and the concrete structures Wesley used in early-Methodism, which still contain implications for today.
  • Go On! - The cultivation of prayer and devotional life in United Methodism is not about "attainment" but rather about "journey." This chapter examines the pilgrimage motif through the two lenses of the biblical doctrine of Christian perfection, and the practical development of that message through an action/reflection model of Christian formation.

About the Author

Steve Harper

Steve Harper is a retired United Methodist Elder in the Florida Annual Conference, and a retired seminary Professor who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. He is the author of 16 books, the co-author of 13 others, numerous articles, and a frequent speaker in churches, conferences, and retreats. Harper’s ministries have included youth minister, evangelist, pastor, professor and seminary administrator. He and his wife Jeannie oversaw A Foundation for Theological Education, and they co-founded Shepherd’s Care, a ministry to ministers. Steve also served as Dean of the Chapel and Director of the Pathways Initiative at The Upper Room in Nashville. He lives in Winter Springs, Florida.