The Shadow of the Reformation :: A Short Series on Why Protestants Have Trouble With Prayer

Part Seven

The early Reformers rediscovered some great truths about God, a rediscovery that was long overdue.

But their followers became enamored with those truths turned into ideas, and with each step along that path, God was increasingly reduced from the living Word—wild, free, untamable, even unknowable apart from the prayer of a loving heart—to mere words about God that no longer needed prayer to make any sense.

In the fourteenth century, an English spiritual director could say to his flock, “You must abandon everything you know to love the one thing you cannot think” (The Cloud of Unknowing).  But within a few hundred years, that orthodox teaching was turned upside down. God could now be thought, and no longer needed to be loved.

Prayer became a tool to get things from God, not the means of grace for knowing God as God.

To be continued . . .