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Prayer [Hardcover]

Richard Foster
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Aug. 14 1992

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.

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From Amazon

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

From Library Journal

Foster, Quaker theologian and best-selling author, provides an excellent and comprehensive survey of 21 forms of Christian prayer. He groups the sections around three movements (inward, upward, and outward) which address three human needs (transformation, intimacy, and ministry). Foster presents the best thinking of various church traditions to help the reader feel drawn to prayer and to a restored and deeper relationship with oneself, God, and others. This is one of the best, most comprehensive, yet accessible introductions to prayer that this reviewer has seen. Highly recommended for all libraries.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An honest view on Prayer.... Nov. 12 2001
If you've ever read my reviews, then you know I don't tell you what the book is about. I give the good parts and the bad parts simple enough that even a feeble minded college student (like myself) can understand. Let's begin...
Well can I say anything bad about this book? The only thing I didn't like about the book was some of the big vocabulary that left me going "huh?" Other than that, I would recommend this book to any pastor, sunday school teacher, or anyone breathing that prays to God. WHAT MAKES THIS BOOK SO SPECTULAR is the fact that Foster is not dogmatic in his theology. He does not just give one denominational view on prayer. From fundamentalists to charismatics, people from all different types of beliefs read this book and generally agree on it. He goes in depth on different ways to pray but gives examples that are easy to understand. IF YOU WANT TO INDEFINATELY BOOST YOUR PRAYER LIFE, GET THIS BOOK!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My only review June 22 2003
By A Customer
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Outstanding May 13 2004
It may seem at first like Foster's approach to his subject matter -- spend a chapter on each of several different types of prayer -- would be scattershot and less than satisfying. Amazingly, it works beautifully. By devoting a chapter to so many different forms of prayer, Foster has provided as comprehensive an overview of prayer as I have seen. Sure, you can quibble with some of the categorizations -- should this type of prayer REALLY be considered separately from this other type? But Foster is so rich and yet accessible that such concerns end up feeling like nitpicking.
Throughout this exploration of the many different forms of prayer, the reader is aided by clearly hearing Foster come through in the mix. Foster's personality is warm, open, and inviting, and the many personal stories in the book put flesh and blood on the subject matter. Foster's practical while still being semi-intellectual in his approach. This book is beneficial both for young and old Christians, and it can change the heart. I can't recommend this book highly enough; it's the best contemporary book on prayer that I've read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars TRANQUIL, INFORMATIVE LISTEN June 4 2004
By Brenda
Format:Audio Cassette
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
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Guide to a Life of Prayer March 10 2003
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great companion for a life of prayer June 5 2001
By Gina
I love Foster's books and this is my favorite. It's a walk through various types of prayer, not exhaustive of course but wide-ranging. Foster's pattern here is to describe a type of prayer, give biblical and historical perspective on it, some examples (often both personal and profound), and then suggest practical steps for integrating that type of prayer into your life. The three general categories he groups these into correspond to the categories in Celebration of the Discipline: looking inward, looking upward to God, and looking outward in service to others. Emphasis is given to meditation and contemplation, and that is where Foster shines the most. One of the things that I love about his writing is that he can be so refreshing. There are ideas in his works that I've not read anywhere else, yet which resound with wisdom and which recall forgotten bits of spiritual history. He is also practical- an advocate that prayer begins where you live, in the small and everyday things. Some people will object to his inclusion of "charismatic" themes. There is no magic bullet when it comes to prayer, but this is a wonderful guide and companion for a journey we all must take if we are to love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. It will enrich your dialogue with God.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it Love it Love it
So many people struggle with prayer. Even the disciples did when they asked Jesus to teach them how. Richard Foster brings it to grass roots. Read more
Published on Feb. 19 2008 by Gary & Dawn
5.0 out of 5 stars 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. Read more
Published on June 2 2002 by David R. Bess
5.0 out of 5 stars Deeply challenging and rewarding book on prayer.
There are a myriad of books on the subject of prayer. Many are guides to prayer, also called "how-to" books on prayer. Read more
Published on Dec 18 2001 by Jason I. Ekeroth
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a life changing book!
If you're seriuos about growing in faith this is the book for you!
I pastored a church that I was transfered from and they not only continued to read it by themselves but... Read more
Published on Oct. 27 2001 by J. Bradford
5.0 out of 5 stars New insights into prayer
Richard Foster opens up an whole new world - the world of many TYPES of prayer.
I was going through this book with a small group in a church I served and was moved (United... Read more
Published on July 25 2001 by J. Bradford
5.0 out of 5 stars let the adventure begin
"But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray." (Luke 5:16)
This life is an adventure. Read more
Published on June 14 2001 by NotATameLion
5.0 out of 5 stars Foster does it again!
This is an amazing book on prayer. Foster has an incredible way of blending scholarship, a call to discipline, and tons of grace into his writing. Read more
Published on Nov. 26 2000 by Marc
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