Wayne Lewis

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)




The questions addressed in this document are: Can unspoken prayer be used in Christian spiritual formation? If so, how? And are there dangers that come with its use? For the purpose of simplicity and utility, the term "unspoken prayer" will refer to prayer that is not verbalized with voice or mind and is prayer offered to God as listening, focused waiting, or thought focused meditation. Unspoken prayer is utilized by Christians in forming a more intimate relationship with Jesus as Savior and Lord. Many terms are used for this type of prayer including contemplative prayer, silent prayer, listening prayer, and centering prayer. These terms are used by many people in many contexts and are often used with different meanings. While unspoken prayer has an ancient history, there is concern that it not only can lead the disciple away from a more intimate relationship with Jesus but that its' modern origins have ties in the occult or Eastern religions. This document will examine what unspoken prayer is, how it has been practiced, and whether there is valid foundation for concern that it may actually be harmful to the Christian pilgrim on an inward journey that seeks an enriched relationship with Jesus as Lord. Chapter One will examine the problem with narrative and establish a modem context for spiritual formation and unspoken prayer. Also Chapter One will clarify terminology for spiritual formation and unspoken prayer as used in this document. Chapter Two will examine the biblical basis for unspoken prayer. Chapter Three will examine the historical and theological roots of unspoken prayer. Chapter Four will look at opposing points of view of the forms of unspoken prayer. Chapter Five will take a critical look at the most prominent issues concerning unspoken prayer. Chapter Six will weigh in summary the merits of the previous arguments and seek to discern the value of unspoken prayer to the Christian seeker and how it may be used.

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