Monday, April 05, 2021

Prayer? Essential for theology!

To live without prayer is to live without God, to live without a soul. No one is able to think of Him unless he has learned how to pray to Him. For this is the way man learns to think of the true God—of the God of Israel. He first is aware of His presence long before he thinks of His essence. And to pray is to sense His presence.

There are people who maintain that prayer is a matter of emotion. In their desire to “revitalize” prayer, they would proclaim: Let there be emotion! This is, of course, based on a fallacy. Emotion is an important component; it is not the source of prayer. The power to pray does notdepend on whether a person is of a choleric or phlegmatic temperament. One may be extrenely emotional and be unable to generate that power. This is decisive: worship comes out of insight. It is not the result of an intellectual oversight.—Abraham Joshua Heschel in Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity: Essays, 108

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