Dr. Michael Voigts, Associate Professor of Spiritual Formation at Asbury Seminary, released The Fourth Degree of Prayer in January of 2022. In this book, Dr. Voigts presents prayer, which is often intimidating, as not something we do, but as part of our very nature. In this short book, he invites readers into a four-stage process that encompasses all of ourselves: our nature, activities, our loves, our emotions and our motivations. Through his writing, he hopes that people will become more comfortable with this means of grace that allows us to stay connected with God.

“Once we discover what the role of prayer can be in our lives there is no going back to a previous way of seeing ourselves, the world, and God,” he said. “Once we discover the reality of prayer’s depths we never knew existed, the Holy Spirit will show us just how elementary our previous understanding of prayer really was. Some of what you’ll read in this book may disrupt your walk with God, for you may discover for the first time the depths to which God wants to be in relationship with you.”

The book is designed to be used by individuals, small groups and for classes seeking a deeper understanding of God and themselves. The book was published by Wipf and Stock Publishers and is available for purchase on their website, at Amazon, or wherever you like to buy books.

Dr. Voigts is the Associate Professor of Spiritual Formation at Asbury Seminary and a Lay Cistercian of the Gethsemani Abbey. Before coming to the Seminary, he spent 24 years in pastoral ministry. He is currently a member of the Kentucky Conference of The United Methodist Church. Dr. Voigts’ academic interests lie in personal and community spiritual direction, and in drawing connections between spiritual traditions in the global church. His studies in medieval spiritual direction, particularly through the Cistercian monastic tradition, have discovered connections with historic Wesleyan discipleship and in modern understandings of personal and community formation. He is author of Letters of Ascent: Spiritual Direction in the Letters of Bernard of Clairvaux that was published in 2013.