Only when inner and outer authority come together do we have true spiritual wisdom. We have for too long insisted on outer authority alone, without any teaching of prayer, inner journey, and maturing consciousness. The results for the world and for religion have been disastrous. I am increasingly convinced that the word prayer, which has become a functional and pious thing for believers to do, is, in fact, a descriptor for inner experience. That is why all spiritual teachers mandate prayer so much. They are saying, “Go inside and know for yourself!” We will understand prayer and inner experience this way throughout this book. As Jesus graphically puts it, prayer is “going to your private room and shutting the door and [acting] in secret” (Matthew 6:6). Once you hear it this way, it becomes pretty obvious.
—from the book Things Hidden: Scripture as Spirituality
by Richard Rohr, page xv