Leading on from Richard Mouw's recent, short piece: faculty at Christian institutions, do you pray before class begins?
I have come to think that the lesson here was more important than we took it to be in those days. His prayers in the first class created a mood. They offered spiritual reassurance. They provided the students with a spiritual context in which to understand his overall intentions. The story suggests to me that we need to pay much more careful attention to the topic of the relationship of prayer to learning.