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Prayer - 10th Anniversary Edition
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There are hundreds of books on prayer, and much of the advice they contain is likely to be the same. So what distinguishes these books? Call it a kind of wisdom, a sense that here's someone who knows something of God's heart. A good example can be found in this fine book by the Quaker writer and teacher Richard Foster. The author of the bestselling Celebration of Discipline explores various aspects of prayer, which he defines in one place as "the human response to the perpetual outpouring of love by which God lays siege to every soul." Beginning with the simplest forms of prayer--what he calls "ordinary people bringing ... ordinary concerns to a loving and compassionate Father"--he then explores the deeper places where prayer becomes not simply petition but a way of life. He writes of prayer of adoration and rest, sacramental prayer, meditation, and contemplation, and in the final section of the book moves outward into ministry, where prayer meets the needs of the world. In each chapter Foster defines, describes, and gives helpful examples. Above all he writes with grace--in both the artistic and spiritual senses. --Doug Thorpe

Hailed by many as the most important contemporary book on Christian prayer, this life-changing guidebook shows how prayer can move us inward to personal transoformation, upward toward intimacy with God, and outward to minister others.

Best-selling author Richard J. Foster offers a warm, compelling, and sensitive primer on prayer, helping us to understand, experience, and practice it in its many forms-from the simple prayer of beginning again to unceasing prayer. He clarifies the prayer process, answers common misconceptions, and shows the way into prayers of contemplation, healing, blessing, forgiveness, and rest.

Coming to prayer is like coming home, Foster says. "Nothing feels more right, more like what we are created to be and to do. Yet at the same time we are confronted with great mysteries. Who hasn't struggled with the puzzle of unanswered prayer? Who hasn't wondered how a finite person can commune with the infinite Creator of the universe? Who hasn't questioned whether prayer isn't merely psychological manipulation after all? We do our best, of course, to answer these knotty questions but when all is said and done, there is a sense in which these mysteries remain unanswered and unanswerable . . . At such times we must learn to become comfortable with the mystery."

Foster shows how prayer can move us inward into personal transformation, upward toward intimacy with God, and outward to minister to others. He leads us beyond questions to a deeper understanding and practice of prayer, bringing us closer to God, to ourselves, and to our community.

Customer Reviews:

  • All round all dimensional CX-sectional discussion on prayers
    Never expected that someone can discuss prayers with that depth and breath. Dont wanna write about the merits and content here coz those are well covered by other reviewers. Instead, wanna explain why I rate it a four star instead of a five.

    1. I was impressed, but not moved. That might be personal but I really think that more real life stories and prayer samples can be added to enhance my understanding of the author's messages and my ability to pray different kinds of prayer. The association of only one prayer in the end of individual chapter/category/aspect is insufficent, and sometimes inadequate (I admit that it might just be my ignorance)

    2. The writing is a bit dry and not well organised. Seeming overlap of supposedly different kind/aspect of prayers is frequent. I think the author could summarize his ideas in point or table form for better understanding by common christians like me. The inclusion of stories/quotes of spiritual leaders is great, but sometimes odd and incoherent in context.

    3. Though the author emphasized that "love" is central to various kinds of prayer in both the beginning and the end of the book, such linkage is transparent to me.

    Despite the above minor drawbacks, in case you wanna learn more about prayers, it is a superb choice. However, it might not be a good option for those who read to learn praying smoothly and fluently to suit different occasions and personal needs.

    p.s. I like the "Three Hermits", a story by Tolstoy in the book very much. In summary, on an island there lived three old hermits. The only prayer they used was: 'We are three; Thou art Three-have mercy on us!' The local bishop heard about that and decided to visit them in order to teach them the canonical invocations. On his return trip, he saw, following the ship, a radiant light. As it approached, he discerned the three hermits, who were holding hands and running upon the waves in an effort to overtake the vessel. 'We have forgotten the prayers you taught us,' they cried as they reached the bishop, 'and have hastened to ask you to repeat them.' The awed bishop shook his head. 'Dear ones,' he replied humbly, 'continue to live with your old prayer!' ...more info
  • Prayer:Finding the Heart's True Home
    Richard Foster's book "Prayer:Finding the Hearts True Home" in my estimation is a classic that will stand the test of time and will still be read and meditated upon 100 years or more from now. The book is an easy read and at the same time is deep and challenging to anyone who desires a deeper walk with God. This is a wonderful volume for personal study, as well as fine material for a prayer group or bible study. This book of Richards, as well as his others, is always close by for me to go back and revisit time and time again. ...more info
  • An Excellent Guide to a Life of Prayer
    This book is an excellent introduction to, and survey of, the practice and experience of prayer for Christians. Richard Foster draws from many different traditions and experiences and distills them into this very fine and accessible work. It's very practical, unpretentious and inspiring. Foster helps us examine the many facets of prayer grouped according to three intentions on personal transformation, intimacy with God and ministry to others. Among its 21 chapters you may find aspects of prayer that are very familiar to you (maybe you had never thought of them as prayer before) along with encouragement to focus and deepen your efforts in those areas. Other types of prayer may be completely foreign to you but offer an invitation to explore. For those who want to take prayer more seriously this book is a very good place to begin. It is not an introduction in the sense of being superficial or shallow. It treats each aspect of prayer in enough depth to get the willing reader well on his or her way to a more effective and vital life of prayer. But it also shows us prayer as a vast, life long and life changing endeavor and points to the work of others who have explored the various disciplines of prayer more deeply. This books is essential reading....more info
  • Prayer- Finding the Hearts True Home
    This book is so awesome and helpful in getting your prayer life where it needs to be. There are so many ways to pray that we don't even realize. This book relates several ways in which we can approach our Father and Creator and begin to have a true and wonderful relationship with God. You cannot have a relationship without communicatiion.Everyone needs this book in their library....more info
  • Prayer
    This is an excellent book. It explains many different prayer styles. This is a great referrence book. Everyone will be able to enhance their relationship with GOD by using the methods in this book....more info
  • Excellent overview of prayer
    Richard Foster explains different types of prayer each having its own chapter. The less controversial aspects of prayer tend to be in the front of the book. I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting a richer prayer life, is willing to learn and doesn't have to agree with everything an author says in order to appreciate the book....more info
  • A Classic in Christian Spirituality
    If I were to own one book on prayer, this would be the one. Foster has spent a lifetime teaching prayer and the spiritual disciplines. This book is the distillation of a profound life. His teaching is clear, his thinking incisive. I have used and recommended this volume (and Foster's Celebration of Discipline) for years. After a decade on the shelf, I worked my way through it again this year. I was awed by new insights. It reminded me of Mark Twain's comment about his father, "When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learnt in seven years."...more info
  • My only review
    I am an avid reader; but, this is the only book I have ever felt so strongly about that I wanted to express my opinion in a review. I realize that a person's reaction to any book says as much about the reader as it does the book. But I cannot imagine anyone who is genuinely interested in the topic of prayer not feeling satisfied that they got a great exchange for their time and money in this book. It helped me tremendously....more info
  • Great book!
    I've owned this book for a while and loved it so much I ordered copies for my mom and my best friend. Very helpful approach to the subject of prayer, which is often a daunting topic....more info
  • The Best Modern Book on Prayer or Spirituality I've Read
    Richard Foster has penned an extraordinary book on all matters related to prayer. This book will take the novice or mature seeker of God into a deeper, more meaningful relationship with God through inspired, disciplined, educated, meditative, and comprehensive prayer, as well as and Spirit-led spiritual warfare.

    Foster doesn't miss a point on the subject. His writing is supported by references to renowned Christian authors, mystics, and saints from all generations. Foster cites these sources seamlessly throughout the book.

    I read this book slowly, over several weeks and let each chapter's message sink in. Foster truly provides readers with a guideline for prayer in this book.

    If you are at all interested in reading a book on prayer, definitely dive into this one. You won't be disappointed at all....more info
    Foster tells listeners "God has graciously allowed me to catch a glimpse into his heart" and that "The heart of God is an open wound of love." God aches over our distance, weeps over our obsessions, and longs for our presences. Moreover, God wants to relieve us of aggression, frustration and fear and replace it with security and peace. Foster's goal is to help believers with lessons on prayer. Foster tells us we avoid prayer because we are naturally prideful and hardhearted. In addition, when we do desire prayer, we first want to put our life in order. That's why God gave us prayer, he explains. Constant prayer - the beginner's prayer, the simplest prayer, the breath prayer, etc. - will put our lives in order and bring us "back to that which we were created for."

    Foster explains prayer and guides those who pray. Written for both the novice and experienced Christian, he talks about the prayer of adoration and rest, sacramental prayer, meditation and contemplation. In expressing God and his desire, the author uses common examples and backs his teachings with scripture.

    The book Prayer was published in 1992. This audio version contains chapters 1, 2, 11, 13, 15, 18, 21 of that version.

    Brenda @ MyShelf.Com...more info

  • The best book on prayer that I have ever read!
    This is a book that I will read over and over again. I have been on a spiritual journey of prayer for many years and from now on, this book will be my companion as it is filled with wisdom, encouragement and guidance. The second chapter entitled "Prayer of the Forsaken" has been especially helpful during a time of crisis in our family. I have memorized some of Foster's wisdom for perseverance in prayer: "What we learned to do in the light of God's love, we also do in the dark of God's absence. We ask and continue to ask even though there is no answer. We seek and continue to seek even though we do not find. We knock and continue to knock even though the door remains shut" This is only one example of priceless gems I found in this book and which help me to persevere in prayer even when I have been discouraged. I have purchased additional copies to give as gifts and my own personal copy will be highlighted as I continue to read this book on a daily basis....more info
  • Best Book on Prayer
    Foster would probably quibble with my description, "best book on prayer," but that's ok. The book is a phenomenal introduction to the rich variety of Christian prayer. The chapters are short enough to be read in a single sitting but call us to a profound transformation in the secret place of prayer. This book may well be better than Foster's "Celebration of Discipline."...more info
  • on my top five for sure
    ok so i read this book in my spiritual formation class in college and then i reread it just a couple months ago. and let me just say that this book is the most amazing book on prayer. i am a little tentative to write this review, because i dont want to make this book out to be something that its not. but giving it some thought, now i can saw that if you want to learn about talking with God is a most amazing honest way then richard foster has written a masterpiece for you. i hope you buy this book and learn as much as i did. amazing! take her easy....more info
  • The Power Of Prayer !
    Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home by Richard J. Foster is a book that explores the many aspects of prayer. The book begins with some of the simplest forms of prayer and goes deeper and deeper until you discover that prayer should become a way of life. Finally you are introduced to prayer as a "ministry." All together there are 21 forms of Christian prayer in the book that Foster explains, helping the reader develop a closer relationship with God.

    After you read this book it may be a good time to consider reading my book entitled "The Enlightenment, What God Told Me After One Million Prayers, a Message for Everyone" (See Profile Above)

    ...more info
  • Prayer, Richard Foster
    This is an excellent book. It contains very deep material and lessons on prayer, while maintaining an easy readability. I recommend it to anyone who is desiring to know God better....more info
  • One of the Best Books Today on Prayer
    There are a myriad of books available today on prayer. Many of those books are shallow theologically and draw little if any from the rich heritage of the Church. Foster's volume combines a knowledge of church history's classic devotional writers with a freshness appealing to the 21st century.

    Foster describes various forms of prayer, dividing them into three general categories: inward-focused prayer provides us with personal transformation, upward-focused prayer offers us intimacy with God, outward-focused prayer places us in the ministries that God would have us fill.

    Don't let the title fool you. This volume is NOT just another book on what some persons may call "prayer lite." Foster presents a solid work that is grounded in the theology as well as the history of the Church. I recommend this book highly to all persons desiring a serious treatment of prayer....more info