ADVENTURES IN DAILY PRAYER - EXPERIENCING THE POWER OF GOD'S LOVE Hardcover – Sep 2010
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From the Inside Flap
For the past forty-five years, Bert Ghezzi has begun each day with prayer. At first he had to work at doing it consistently, but eventually he couldn't imagine starting his day without it. Through his discovery of the gift of daily prayer, he has come to see God's connection with us as a bountiful and permanent act of love. Prayer offers us the gift of a lifelong friendship with God, enabling us to love him more fully and follow him more faithfully.
In this delightful book, Ghezzi shares his adventures in prayer and offers a winsome invitation to experience the promise and power of this practice. He shows how faithfulness to daily prayer rewards us with unlimited blessings and covers how to pray, praying for and with others, and persevering in prayer. For those who have struggled at cultivating a strong prayer life, Ghezzi provides practical help for overcoming obstacles. Helpful questions for further reflection and group discussion are included at the end of each chapter.
From the Back Cover
Loving and Being Loved in Prayer
"This is a fine little book, wise and tender and filled with grace."--Dean Koontz, bestselling suspense novelist
"Not one of us presently writing about religion in this country is better equipped by experience, skill, and devotion to write about prayer than is Bert Ghezzi."--Phyllis Tickle, author of Prayer Is a Place and The Great Emergence
"Bert Ghezzi brings the tradition home to this generation. Through his books he has helped us to know the saints, know the sacraments, know the cross--and know ourselves as we stand before God."--Scott Hahn, author of The Lamb's Supper and Rome Sweet Home
"Impeccably researched, authentically lived, and engagingly written, this guide will appeal to Catholics and Protestants alike. I could not recommend a book--or a person--more highly."--Ken Gire, author of Moments with the Savior, Windows of the Soul, and The Weathering Grace of God
"This engaging book is rooted in sacred Scripture and our Catholic tradition, and should serve as an inspiration to many people who strive to enrich their prayer life."--Most Reverend Donald W. Wuerl, STD, Archbishop of Washington
"Bert Ghezzi answers the questions we all have about how and why we should pray via his own lifelong prayer journey. Readers will be grateful for this helpful and engaging book."--Amy Welborn, author of The Words We Pray: Discovering the Richness of Catholic Prayer
"Bert Ghezzi has written yet another superb book to help us become people of deeper prayer. No matter where you are in your own 'adventure' with God, this book will inspire you to grow!"--Patti Gallagher Mansfield, leader of Catholic Charismatic Renewal; author of As by a New Pentecost
"If you want to grow in your spiritual life, read this book, implement some of its suggestions, and you will be on your way."--Fr. Larry Richards, founder, The Reason for Our Hope Foundation; pastor, St. Joseph Church Bread of Life Community
Top Customer Reviews
Adventures in Daily Prayer is a good resource to utilize if you want to deepen your prayer life. This book is more of a journal of prayer exercizes than a book on prayer itself. Also, Mr. Ghezzi is a devout Catholic and this comes through very strongly in his writings. While I am not Catholic, I still appreciate the things he says in this book about prayer and some of the exercises (although foreign to me) provide great opportunities to stretch our prayer lives in areas that other denominations have stepped away from if not forgotten about all together.
I do recommend this book if you want something that will encourage you to pray. This is not a scholarly book on prayer, but rather reads something more like if you were to have a coffee with the author and the stories he would share about his prayer life.
One criticism I have with it: there are additional portions of readings from other writers that are included in their own offset paragraphs... these are placed awkwardly to say the least (literally in the middle of Ghezzi's paragraph) and makes it difficult to read these additions without interupting your train of thought as you read.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
A number of glaring "typos" and text inserted into the wrong place. For example, the subtitle "Introduction," is inserted into the middle of the actual text of the introduction. Clearly, this Kindle document wasn't proofread for accuracy.
The translation "sidebar" for Veni, Creator Spiritus is completely jacked up. Also, more importantly, it's a very poor paraphrase of the actual hymn, when much more accurate translations from the Latin are readily available. Why bother attributing the hymn to Rabanus Maurus, if you're going to offer a very shabby mis-translation of his incredibly inspiring hymn to God? The actual words of this hymn do matter and are easily translated.
The opening chapters were engaging, but fell off considerably for me past chapter three. It became a historical overview of the author's life "in the Spirit," with an occasional, "I still struggle with.." thrown in to suggest some contemporary relevance, which wasn't helpful or inspirational.
The prime difficulty with this book, though, is about the knockoff quality of the Kindle version. A noted and well-respected author on religious topics and prayer, supposedly in tune with the "Spirit," selling a Kindle book that hasn't even been editorially glanced at for accuracy?
This signal lack of regard for the purchasers of the book always compromises the value of the content for me. In the case of a book on prayer, and praying in the Spirit, it's disrespectful and hypocritical. Let's hope the author and publisher weren't divinely "inspired" to pull that fast one on unsuspecting folks who want help with their prayer life, and prefer the convenience of electronic versions.
Over the years I have come to see the importance of a daily prayer life, and this is where Bert's book is so useful. You see, Bert has been praying daily for fifty years, so he knows a thing or two about it. He shares his insights and reflections from these fifty years in an incredibly accessible and helpful way. He combines his own personal experiences with the wisdom of Scripture and the Saints to help the reader along the path to a deeper prayer commitment. He addresses subjects such as listening to God, praying with Scripture and recognizing God's presence, all in a manner that can be practically applied in one's life. No matter if you are a beginner at daily prayer or have been doing it for years, Bert's experiences are sure to be helpful.
I am convinced that daily prayer radically changes lives, and Bert Ghezzi has given his readers a wonderful guide to participating in daily prayer in his new book, "Adventures in Daily Prayer." I recommend it highly to anyone who is serious about growing in holiness (and shouldn't that be everyone?).
In this book, Bert (yes, Bert - with the glimpse these pages give of his interior life, "Dr. Ghezzi" doesn't feel right) shares the tried and tested principles that have sustained him in prayer for over 45 years, through the highs and lows common to us all. The element that really set this work apart for me was Bert's conviction that all of us are meant to hear from God - it's just a matter of making a commitment to remain within earshot of Him.
The rest of the book gives the simple, clear-cut ways to do exactly that. I said that I was humbled by this book, and I meant it. Bert's wisdom and stories alerted me to the gifts and inner dispositions I have neglected of late. Take Scripture for instance: I say a short prayer before I read the daily Gospel that arrives via email each morning; but I am not stopping to give it the attention Scripture deserves. I have not been chewing over this word the Father sent His Son into the world to give me! At the end of Bert's chapter on Scripture, as with all of the chapters, he provides several points to Think over - Pray about - and Act on: "What would you have to change to build Scripture study into your daily routine?"; "If you are not already reading Scripture daily, decide to study the Gospel of Mark for fifteen minutes every day for the next month. . ." His chapter on "Praying with Thanksgiving" would have been reason enough for me to grab this book.
Trust me though, there is no "wagging of the finger." In fact, it's just the opposite. Bert is quite transparent regarding shortcomings in his temperament and mistakes he has made, and how God continues to challenge and correct him. It is an exceptional testimony to how prayer is a gift meant for our enrichment, not God's. Praise, thanksgiving, lectio divina, dryness, intercession - it's all about taking on the image of Jesus, the image stamped on our souls in baptism.
If you are just setting out on the adventure of daily prayer, then I honestly can't think of a better book with which to start; I have a friend with whom I can't wait to share it. And if, like me, you've been on this road a few years and need to take stock of where you're at, then here is your GPS. No dry theory here folks - it's all tread marks on asphalt.
Most people wouldn't place their prayers in the `adventure' genre. A more likely category would be `silent-film', or maybe even `horror'. Many people pray daily, but a good number of their prayers are tainted with difficulty. "Adventures In Daily Prayer" answers this frustration and dullness, not through five-easy-steps, but through personal anecdotes from Bert's life and wisdom from ancient spiritual masters.
"Adventures In Daily Prayer" reveals that prayer is more than just a way to get things from God. Instead, it is primarily a path toward intimacy with the Lord. Bert exhibits this reality through numerous stories. Whether through a tangible experience of the Holy Spirit, a fresh insight during `lectio divina', or a sensing of God's voice, Bert shows how God constantly draws toward us in our daily prayers.
The book also transmits Bert's love for the Saints. His saintly friends can't help but make cameos throughout his latest writing. St. Bonaventure explains how to pray with Scripture, Aelred of Rievaulx shows how to pray with others, and Julian of Norwich teaches how to pray in the midst of spiritual dryness. The book is full with many Saints who offer beautiful lessons on prayer.
"Adventures In Daily Prayer" is written for anyone who wants to pray more, better, or even at all. Beginners and advanced students alike will benefit from the book. Despite Bert's vast history of prayer, he never writes condescendingly, never chastising inconsistent prayer habits. But he also refrains from taking a frivolous approach. He encourages Christians to take prayer seriously and to make it the foundation of each day. His gentle sternness is the advice you would expect from such an experienced pray-er.
Overall, Bert's book makes it easy to get sucked into the `adventure of daily prayer'. The book shows how difficulty is enlivened by faithfulness, and dullness is invigorated by fresh types of prayer. From the ancient advice of Saints to Bert's own personal stories, it is hard to put this book down unmoved to pray.
(Full disclosure: Bert is one of my dearest friends, and I'm also featured a couple of times within the book. I tried not to let my bias influence the review.)