David B. Perrin, former president of the SSCS, recently published “The Trinity Who Prays and Engages Others to do the Same.” A shorter version was presented at the Biennual International Conference of The Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality: Prayer without Ceasing: Perspectives in Spirituality Studies (June 2017) which took place in Kloster Kappel, Switzerland, a seminar hotel and education center of the Protestant Reformed Church of Canton Zurich. Those interested may reference the article in the journal indicated or e-mail the author for a copy.
David B. Perrin, “The Trinity Who Prays and Engages Others to do the Same,” Vol. VIII, No. 2, July 2017, Vinayasādhana: Dharmaram Journal of Psycho-Spiritual Formation, Dharmaram College, Bangalore, India, 28-41.
Here is the article’s abstract:
A Christian understanding of prayer, at the popular as well as the academic level, frequently holds up Jesus Christ as the model for interpreting what it means to pray. Think, for example, of the oft-cited text of Matthew 6:9-13: “This then, is how you should pray ….” But beyond reciting a prayer to the God of Jesus, as Jesus himself did often, how is prayer to be understood as an integral part of daily human life? What does it mean to “pray always,” as Paul admonishes in 1 Thess 5:17 “pray without ceasing” and many mystics and faith-filled Christians have instructed over the ages? This article, rather than focusing on the life of Jesus as a singular reality to engage an understanding of Christian prayer life (although stories from Jesus’ life are included), engages the communitarian life of the Triune God as the model for living and interpreting Christian prayer and how it is lived in the everyday life of the Christian. As such, the article frames Christian prayer as essentially informed by and lived through the prayer of the community of the Trinity – a community of life that is present in human moments of joy and celebration as well as moments of failure and disappointment. God, who is One, draws the Christian richly into Divine Life through the prayer of the Trinity to be the pray-er, as Jesus was. Of singular importance in the journey of being drawn into the life of the Trinity is the consideration of prayer as “self-realization” through “self-transcendence” as understood by Bernard Lonergan and others in the history of Christian spirituality.