From Publishers Weekly
This accessible, brief primer on prayer asserts that any Christian can, and is in fact commanded to, pray to God unceasingly. Kreeft, a Boston College philosophy professor who has written more than 25 books on religion, attempts to teach "Prayer for Dummies" and "Prayer for Marthas" (i.e., those who are so busy attending to daily life that they feel they have no time to pray). Kreeft encourages beginners to commence with vocal prayer, regarding silent, contemplative prayer as a more advanced skill. Beginners must learn to "stop, look, and listen," with special emphasis on listening. (Since prayer is a form of conversation, and since we must attend carefully to the wisest person in any conversation, Kreeft asserts that "we ought to be listening most of the time" when speaking with God.) Prayers can begin with a RAPT structure: Repentance, Adoration, Petition and Thanksgiving. Another powerful novice prayer, says Kreeft, is the "Jesus prayer"; simply invoking Jesus' name is in itself a creative, prayerful act. Kreeft offers advice on handling distractions ("Get right back on the horse every time you fall off," he counsels straying minds) and on the more thorny issue of avoiding prayer because of unconfessed sin. Kreeft's approach is basically nondenominational, though references to the catechism and to perfecting prayer in Purgatory suggest that Catholics may find the book more helpful than other readers. (Mar.)
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