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in this section:
Why We Pray
Help, Thanks, Wow
The Teenage Prayer Experiment
You Can Pray
Prayer
Using The Jesus Prayer
15 Days Of Prayer With Saint Augustine
Praying Through The Names Of God
Gatecrashing
Creating A Life With God
The Pink Ribbon Path
Still Caring
Rhythms of Remembering
How Prayer Impacts Lives
Standing on My Knees
Crafting Prayers for Public Worship
A Thousand and One Prayers
Help, Thanks, Wow
Connecting with God
Eyes of the Heart
The #Pray4 Principle
Praying with Christian Mystics
With Pity Not With Blame
Kneeling With Giants
New Testament Prayer for Everyone
Watching, Waiting, Walking
Everything the Bible says about Prayer
In The Grip Of Light
The Prayer We Offer
Sanctuary of The Soul
Praying Our Lives
50 New Prayers From the Iona Community
Petals of Prayer
Heart to Heart
The Lord and His Prayer
Lectio Divina – The Sacred Art
The Everyday Use of the Lord’s Prayer
Prayers for Parishes
Last Thing At Night
A Call to Spiritual Reformation
PrayerWalk
Sanctuary of the Soul
The Chaplet of the Holy Spirit
The Daily Prayer Rosary
Prayers for all Occasions
Amish Prayers
Prayer
God's Passion
Praying Through
The Art of Biblical Prayer


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Prayer

Collections of prayers, and help with different ways of praying to suit our many different characters.

Why We Pray



by William Philip


William Philip’s aim was to produce a modest volume on prayer that would not ‘depress and discourage’ his audience, as he considers this the worst of crimes for a preacher. By and large he has succeeded, dealing in four chapters with the prayer-roles of our speaking Father God, his Son, His sovereignty and the Holy Spirit.

Beginning with the breakdown of communication caused by the fall, the book explores God’s restoration plan and our adoption as full sons of God alongside Jesus, emphasising the difference between praying and ‘saying your prayers’ and debunking the myth that successful prayer will necessarily be a prolonged, intense and fluent performance.

The Sovereign God chapter that attempts to address the paradox of free will is understandably the weakest, but it does highlight the dangers of unthinking acceptance of such human sound-bites as “prayer changes things” and the importance of humility in our relationship with our Creator – a subject which is covered further in the final chapter concerning the Holy Spirit, and how human interpretations of strong faith can tip over into idolatry if we do not keep our eyes firmly fixed on Jesus.  

Entirely accessible in both length and style, this is an ideal starting point for anyone wishing to look deeper into the reality of prayer, and a positive, uplifting message for those who may be floundering.                                

 

 



Review by Diane Morrison  (08/12/15)
Jacket
Publisher: IVP(Inter Varsity Press)
Published: 15 February 2015
ISBN: 978-1-783-59196-1
Paperback
Price: £7.99

Help, Thanks, Wow

- The Three Essential Prayers

by Anne Lamott


This small book of only 102 pages is simply amazing. A book on prayer that surpasses all faith, denomination and big word bias and instead deals with the reality of heart and prayer - the honest talk and approach of those coming before God as real people in all their abject misery and overwhelming joy. Talking heart to heart and mind to soul Anne Lamott has written a stunning book and one that should be the first book given to people on prayer when they come looking because it goes past the "words" to the heart. The words it uses are easy to read, witty, intelligent and well written making it simple and clear to understand and follow and more importantly to believe. Prayer here is not a holy thing for the reserved few but is wholly a thing for everyone, and wherever they may be - it's an honest thing and a thing that God has made easy because it happens in the interior of us regardless of what others may think. Prayer is simple - Help, Thanks, Wow.

Review by Melanie Carroll  (11/08/15)
Jacket
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
Published: 18 June 2015
ISBN: 978-1-444-75035-5
Paperback
Price: £9.99

The Teenage Prayer Experiment



by Miranda & Noah Threlfall-Homes


I was won over in the introduction of this book. The mother and son commitment to challenging and encouraging teenagers to experiment in prayer rather than instructing in a set of 'expert methods', shines throughout each chapter. 

Any book that is birthed out of a discovered need in the market oftens comes from a genuine heart to see that need fulfilled. The Threlfall-Holmes's stay true to their commitment to allow the reader to experiment with each suggestion. The genuine good & bad reviews show that not all methods will work for everyone and that the reader should be free to accept the varying degrees of success and failure along the way.

The self-review space also encourages the reader to be able to reflect on their own progress and interest of each option. This is so often overlooked in efforts to have young people learning, but vital in helping them discover what is right for them and not to feel a failure when it's not working.

I'm particularly impressed by the diverse range of options available including practical, interactive, written, virtual, food, physical activity, quiet and loud variations. In line with the authors' heart, I felt it important that I didn't review this book as an 'adult expert', but considered the thoughts of teenagers I know. It was encouraging to hear their mixed viewpoints and a range of preferred options to continue with.

This book would be very supportive of any individual teenager looking to discover how prayer can work for them, but I would also encourage parents or youth leaders to look at how they can read this with their teenagers and be part of the experiment themselves. 

My personal favourite? Whilst I love anything active and prayer walking is definitely helpful to my personal experiment, I am excited about the Taste & See option. I love seeing Communion experinced by young people and I would love to see the reviews of more young people taking part in this.

I encourage you to buy this book for the teenage in your life...and then ask if you can read it with them! 



Review by Barry Mason  (18/08/15)
Jacket
Publisher: SPCK (Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge)
Published: 16 April 2015
ISBN: 978-0-281-07257-6
Paperback
Price: £9.99

You Can Pray



by Tim Chester


All Christians are supposed to be able to pray but there can be few who do not find it difficult. Tim Chester's book is a goldmine of positive encouragement to everyone who gets distracted when they pray, find motivation difficult or just don't know how or what to pray. If you find prayer difficult then this book is for you.

Chester suggests that the secret of successful and satisfying prayer is to know that God the Father loves to hear us pray, that God the Son makes every prayer pleasing to God, and that God the Holy spirit helps us to pray. It is not something we must perfect or achieve but something, however wavering, to offer to God in trust.

The book is in three parts: Why prayer is easy (How we pray) - with references to Luke's Gospel; Why prayer is difficult (Why we pray) - with references to Lamentations; and What we pray (The arguments and priorities of prayer) - with references to the Lord's Prayer. All in all this is a most helpful and valuable book on the subject. It should be on every church library shelf and could be a useful study guide for church groups.



Review by Graham Wise  (06/02/15)
Jacket
Publisher: IVP(Inter Varsity Press)
Published: February 2014
ISBN: 978-1-783-59084-1
Paperback
Price: £9.99

Prayer

- Experiencing Awe And Intimacy With God

by Timothy Keller


Any one acquainted in any way with Keller's work will know that this is going to be a good, well thought out, reasoned and more importantly accessible book on an incredibly important subject - Prayer.
There are admittedly many books on prayer but this one is a good addition to the stockpile, not least because of the beautiful overview of what prayer is you find in this book - not just a bibilical overview though, but one that pulls in other religions too and highlights the integralness of the idea of prayer to a spiritual life, in effect you find in this book a theology of prayer as well as a helpful guide and consideration to what prayer is and how we can approach it.
This is a book About Prayer more so than a book On Prayer, that's perhaps a subtle distinction but when you have finished reading this worthwhile book you will entirely understand the distinction I believe and you will feel your time was well spent in this submersive subject.

On a side note not related as such to the contents of the book, I would like to say that the larger print of the text makes this a very accessible book, and is welcomed.



Review by Melanie Carroll  (16/12/14)
Jacket
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
Published: January 0014
ISBN: 978-1-444-75015-7
Hardback
Price: £16.99

Using The Jesus Prayer

- Steps To A Simpler Christian Life

by John Twisleton


'Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner'—simple words and heartfelt prayer long used in the Orthodox traditions and here in this small but insightful book given new presence for anybody of any churchmanship.

Twisleton blends modern day autobiographical reflections with scripture, bible study and the history of this prayer to bring it into the presence of a modern church that has much need of such deep simple prayer.

Mindfulness is a word we come across often these days, and here we find an ancient form of mindfulness that works wonders and brings us closer to God through the medium of simple honest words that reflect the reality of who He is and who we are.

A lovely to read book that is simple to grasp and reflect upon, even in it's more deeper aspects of study.



Review by Melanie Carroll  (24/11/14)
Jacket
Publisher: BRF (Bible Reading Fellowship)
Published: November 2014
ISBN: 978-1-841-01778-5
Paperback
Price: £6.99

15 Days Of Prayer With Saint Augustine



by Jaime Garcia


In the opening section—‘How to use this book’—the author states that the purpose of the book is to lead you to a place where prayer is possible; a deeper place; a more intimate relationship with the Lord.

There are 15 sections of approximately 10 pages each. The author includes many quotes from Augustine’s writings that he then expands upon. At the beginning of each section is a focus point which introduces the topic of that section. At the end of each section are questions for reflection. Many of these are closed questions beginning ‘Do I…?’ which only enabled me to reflect yes or no!

The tone of the whole book is contemplative and mystical. Personally I found some of the statements in it difficult to grasp: For example, we read ‘In order to pray, then, we must enter into our own heart in order to seize it so we can give it.’ As the author says, ‘The experience of God does not give us the means to explain it’ and that is the difficulty of a book like this! In reading it I felt that I was trying to understand something a bit beyond me.

I felt that as the book progressed it became less about prayer specifically and more about what Augustine had to say on matters like Mary, the mother of Jesus, and the church. It is a book that requires thought. I didn’t find it directed me specifically enough to achieve its purpose as stated above.



Review by Heloise Hearn  (19/09/14)
Jacket
Publisher: New City
Published: May 2014
ISBN: 978-1-565-48489-4
Paperback
Price: £8.99

Praying Through The Names Of God



by Tony Evans


This book works through the 85 different 'Names' of God and for each of these titles offers forwards four prayers one each for Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication. The prayers are largely based around reference or ideas stemming from the scripture passage where the name has it's mention, the verse of which is also included. By doing the prayers this way it does open up the way in which the book can be used as you could either read through all the prayers, or you could work through the prayers in a time and season way ... ie a time of thanksgiving, supplication etc. The prayers could be helpful in group prayer situations and in some cases could even form the basis of a small group study perhap on the names themselves.


On a personal point I have an issue with us calling these the names of God, they are descriptors or titles, not names otherwise I have hundreds of names like Melanie the coffee deprived one, Melanie the book reviewer, Melanie the provider of school shoes...

However taking this aside I can see that this book would be helpful and of interest to a number of people



Review by Melanie Carroll  (02/08/14)
Jacket
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
Published: August 2014
ISBN: 978-0-736-96051-9
Paperback
Price: £8.99

Gatecrashing

- The Story of 24-7 Prayer In Ibiza

by Brian Heasley


I've never been to Ibiza, I expect this book is even better if you have, but this book is really good anyway from the design values going into it to the words coming out of it. This book is a real gem and a brilliant guide to doing prayer, active prayer and community building, with the pub and club generation (whatever age they happen to be!).


This is part testimony but more importantly it's a real practical guide too, asking yoou to think about things, to look inwards and better yet to build outwards - including real help on how to go about outreach and building prayer space.
If you are a street pastor or angel then this would be a fantastic book, if you are yourself a clubber then this is a great book to read, if you are a youth minister, a church leader or just someone with a heart for prayer and a desire to reach out and gain some insight or understanding to our pub and club generations then this book is likely a must for you to read.


It's honest, easy to read, maybe at times a little bit shocking even, but it is above all filled with spirit. Really I don't think anyone would regret buying this book or could read it and not find something helpful for their own prayer life or prayer ministry.



Review by Melanie Carroll  (31/07/14)
Jacket
Publisher: Muddy Pearl
Published: July 2014
ISBN: 978-1-910-01209-3
Paperback
Price: £9.99

Creating A Life With God

- The Call Of Ancient Prayer Practices

by Daniel Wolport


I'm not quite sure whether to best way to sum this book up as a lovely beginners guide to different prayer practises, or a fantastic little activity samplerwhichever it actually is it is nicely done.

Short simple chapters both explain the prayer activity in an easy to understand and grasp way, and are followed by a brief historical context highlighted through a proponent of the method (referenced to in the book as our 'travelling companion'). Then it includes some activities and insights into how to undertake the prayer activity. I like the fact that it tries to give methods for not only individual use of these activities but ways in which it can also be used where possible as a group activity too.

It's a really nice and well presented book that can make a wonderful guide to trying some ancient but relevant alternative methods of prayer, the appendix with it's individual and group step by step models for the practises make this a really helpful book that serves many purposes but would make for a great small group study series in my estimation.



Review by Melanie Carroll  (06/06/14)
Jacket
Publisher: BRF (Bible Reading Fellowship)
Published: May 2014
ISBN: 978-0-857-46244-2
Paperback
Price: £7.99

The Pink Ribbon Path

- Prayers, Reflections and Meditations for Women With Breast Cancer

by Mary Ussher


This is an incredible small book that can only be a blessing for those women who face the journey of dealing with breast cancer and its treatment. This book does not deal with the medical condition at all. It contains extracts from the author's own prayer book and journal along with inspiring and thoughtful prayers, contemplations and inspirations from many different sources that may help the reader focus for a moment on whole person healing. What is also lovely about this book is the active meditations it contains, some from Laurence Freeman OSB, and even better these are available in audio format from the Columba website - essential perhaps for those days when treatment takes a real toll.  A worthy book for those facing a time of great turmoil and a journey that they can see through to the other side.

Review by Melanie Carroll  (04/11/13)
Jacket
Publisher: Columba Press
Published: October 2013
ISBN: 978-1-782-18085-2
Hardback
Price: £8.50

Still Caring

- Christian Meditations and Prayers

by Dorothy M Stewart


These Christian meditations and prayers are written specifically for those who are caring for a loved-one with dementia. Dorothy M Stewart writes out of her own experience of looking after her husband who has dementia. Her previous book One day at a time was written while her husband was still able to live at home. This, then, is her follow-up to that, reflecting on the hard decisions and emotional struggles many carers experience when considering residential care. There is a Scripture verse, meditation and short prayer for each day of the month. The 'meditations' are full of anecdotes and practical advice and there are also helpful self-care suggestions. Although I am not in the situation she describes, I kept thinking of people I know who would find this book enormously helpful. There is also a regularly updated blog.

Visit the author's website:dorothystewartblog.wordpress.com/

Review by Jackie Rowe  (31/10/13)
Jacket
Publisher: SPCK (Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge)
Published: August 2013
ISBN: 978-0-281-06983-5
Paperback
Price: £8.99

Rhythms of Remembering

- An Everyday Office Book

by Hannah Ward & Jennifer Wild


This is a lovely little starter (or refresher, or a simple travel companion perhaps!) for practicing daily prayer, or more specifically for entering into the morning and evening offices, with a slide into midday and night prayer that is simplicity itself and so beautifully short!

The daily offices in this book are gentle, concise, and I want to use the word clean - in this way denoting a beautiful clear simplicity that doesn't clutter the mind, or perhaps muddy the prayer. In this respect it really is a brilliant first book for those trying daily offices, or regular prayer. It is designed to be used on its own by individuals but I think it would also make a great book to use in a small group setting or perhaps as a group whilst on retreat.

It's a lovely book and the cover, with its fold over flaps, really does help add to the feeling of it being something a little special.



Review by Melanie Carroll  (09/10/13)
Jacket
Publisher: SPCK (Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge)
Published: August 2013
ISBN: 978-0-281-07079-4
Paperback
Price: £9.99

How Prayer Impacts Lives

- 41 Christians and their Conversations with God

by Catherine MacKenzie


Forty-one different people from various stages and walks of life summarise what prayer means to them, how it has been their life strength and a direct communication with their Creator, Lord and Saviour. Contributors include: David Robertson, Dorothy Paterson, John Piper, Steve Brady and Wallace Benn

Review by x  (25/09/13)
Jacket
Publisher: Christian Focus Publications
Published: May 2013
ISBN: 978-1-781-91131-0
Large paperback
Price: £7.99

Standing on My Knees

- Establishing a lifeline of prayer

by Jeff Lucas


Jeff Lucas's writing always makes me smile. This engaging book on prayer is no exception. He insists he is not an 'expert' in prayer and has some self-deprecating stories to prove it. But as he walks us through the Lord's Prayer, phrase by phrase, the practical suggestions he offers obviously flow out of his life-long experience.

Be aware that this book is a re-publication of How not to pray first published ten years ago. There is a new introduction but the rest of the book is the same with some minor editorial changes. I did read the original book ten years ago but I am glad to have read it again now.



Review by Jackie Rowe  (03/09/13)
Jacket
Publisher: Monarch imprint of Lion Hudson
Published: February 2013
ISBN: 978-0-857-21293-1
Paperback
Price: £7.99

Crafting Prayers for Public Worship

- The Art of Intercession

by Samuel Wells


An excellent book that goes beyond what might at first be assumed by its title. This book doesn't just teach about how to craft prayers of intercession, or acts for public worship but digs down deeper providing a lovely guide to what those prayers are, to why we use them, how we should use them, and also looks at their history and development. So then in that way it truly is a book on the craft and art of public prayers. It's a wonderfully deep and intelligent book that flows gently and lyrically into the nature of prayer and devising prayers for a multitude of purposes and in a number of ways. This is not just a step by step guide, but is a real course from a master that develops the student to become their own artisan - and yet done in such a way that almost anyone can become a skilled crafter of intercessionary acts of worship and prayer.
A book not just for those starting out but for those already active who want a new insight too.

Review by Melanie Carroll  (02/08/13)
Jacket
Publisher: Canterbury Press imprint of Hymns Ancient & Modern Ltd
Published: July 2013
ISBN: 978-1-848-25460-2
Paperback
Price: £12.99

A Thousand and One Prayers



by Gerald O'Mahony


Gerald O'Mahony has been composing prayers for private and public worship for the past forty years. His prayers are not only deeply spiritual but noted for their use of everyday language. In this book we have gathered together his very best.

Grouped thematically, you'll find prayers of intercession as well as prayers of gratitude and of praise, all of which have been tried and tested. An invaluable resource for service preparation, this book will assist any group or individual in finding the words to express their own needs.



Review by Publisher's notes  (02/07/13)
Jacket
Publisher: Kevin Mayhew Publishers
Published: March 2013
ISBN: 978-1-848-67551-3
Paperback
Price: £16.99

Help, Thanks, Wow

- The Three Essential Prayers

by Anne Lamott


This small book of only 102 pages is simply amazing. A book on prayer that surpasses all faith, denomination and big word bias and instead deals with the reality of heart and prayer - the honest talk and approach of those coming before God as real people in all their abject misery and overwhelming joy. Talking heart to heart and mind to soul Anne Lamott has written a stunning book and one that should be the first book given to people on prayer when they come looking because it goes past the "words" to the heart. The words it uses are easy to read, witty, intelligent and well written making it simple and clear to understand and follow and more importantly to believe. Prayer here is not a holy thing for the reserved few but is wholly a thing for everyone, and wherever they may be - it's an honest thing and a thing that God has made easy because it happens in the interior of us regardless of what others may think. Prayer is simple - Help, Thanks, Wow.

Review by Melanie Carroll  (18/06/13)
Jacket
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
Published: June 2013
ISBN: 978-1-444-75034-8
Hardback
Price: £12.99

Connecting with God

- Prayers for Those Who Have Yet to Find the Words

by William J O'Malley


The introduction describes prayer and what this book is about more clearly than any other book I have read. One sentence in particular resonated with me, "These pages are conversation starters for anyone interested in giving God a chance to become a better friend." and there are other sentences of equal value that I will leave you to discover for yourself.

Rather than chapters, the book is divided into key words or thoughts, followed by a suggested worship time. The subjects include, picked at random, Importance, Patience, Anger, Uncertainty, Miracles, and many more. Each of these has an opening sentence called Presence, followed by Grace, a passage based on scripture as a Psalm, a poetic piece described as a Hymn, a Reading by a variety of authors, a piece of Scripture in modern parlance and a closing Prayer.

At the start of each piece is the plea "Quiet my mind. Open my heart. Quicken my soul." However experienced you feel you are in praying, that plea should be heartfelt. If you are new to faith, rest assured that long term Christians can continue to learn, indeed need to learn from books like this too.

I am learning to spend time with that opening phrase before rushing into whatever is on my mind. As I read through Connecting With God I found so much to teach me and inform me, it really is a jewel of a book.



Review by Mary Bartholomew  (30/05/13)
Jacket
Publisher: Orbis Books from Alban Books
Published: March 2013
ISBN: 978-1-626-98011-2
Paperback
Price: £10.99

Eyes of the Heart

- Photography as a Christian Contemplative Practice

by Christine Valters Paintner


If you are a photographer, be it amateur or professional, and a Christian then this book is for you. Written by the author of The Artist's Rule it is a well thought out and articulated book that blends together the art of photography with the spirituality of contemplative practice in a way that makes you think deeper about both. Using the camera as both tool and focus this book guides you on a journey into both the art of photography with its focus on image, light, reflection, exploration and composition and also on the way in which these practices in many ways reflect upon and can represent the inner focus and attention of contemplative action. Through the lens we focus on detail framed within the whole, and so through contemplation we focus on the whole in the detail too. Amazing metaphors are drawn out and suddenly a day out with the camera is instead a day of active prayer and contemplation the likes of which you probably hadn't fully realised before. A brilliant book and one I highly recommend for any photographer.

Review by Melanie Carroll  (21/05/13)
Jacket
Publisher: Sorin Books imprint of Ave Maria from Alban Books
Published: March 2013
ISBN: 978-1-933-49554-5
Paperback
Price: £11.99

The #Pray4 Principle

- Why Prayer is Still Important in a Secular Age

by Alexander Lee


A well written short book that nevertheless really looks at prayer as we use it and understand it both as Christians and as a secular people. Using the Twitter #pray4muamba campaign as the catalyst for consideration and insight, and with stunning clarity Alexander Lee smashes home some important insights that some may well find painful and want to discount - but to do so would be to overlook a truth we need to address if we are to see a return to prayer and Christian faith for our nation and secular times. We must not be so quick as Christians to discount the prayers of others, to reject those not 'Christian' enough to fit our stance. Instead we should consider the lessons of Paul, of Acts, and the outreach to the gentiles… we should consider Jesus' teachings on prayer and faith that exhort us not to be hypocrites or babblers… but instead to offfer hospitality and comfort, acceptance and love…

The #Pray4 Principle holds up faith and prayer as an important and still integral part of our nation's underpinning foundation, and shows that there at the heart of us all there is still a need for prayer and a deep spiritual yearning. With the right attitude of prayer by Christ's followers we can yet make a difference and bring back the lost to the fold, but we have first to open the gates to them and meet them where they are and not where we are.

Review by Melanie Carroll  (23/03/13)
Jacket
Publisher: DLT (Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd)
Published: 20 February 2013
ISBN: 978-0-232-52982-1
Paperback
Price: £8.99

Praying with Christian Mystics



by Annetta Maguire


Praying with Christian Mystics is a lovely little book which acts not only as an introduction to the act of praying in a devotional style using the works of the mystics as a springboard for reflection and contemplation, but also an excellent introduction to the four mystics covered in the book - Julian of Norwich, St Teresa of Avila, St John of the Cross and Meister Eckhart. Maguire gives a good basic introduction to each of them that covers their history, time and setting, as well as their mysticism and outlook before then going onto the actual exercises of prayer and reflection, which use good solid chunks of their works. Each mystic is taken separately and it would be very easy to use this book as the basis of a four week group study or prayer course.

I was taken with the introduction to the book, particularly the reference to Karl Rahner's thoughts on how each of us is or should be a mystic and how this has conditioned her own thinking. It is lovely that she points out that many have mystical experiences and the only difference is that with these well known mystics wrote down their experiences so that we could know of them.

This is an excellent book indeed, one for all and not just the budding mystics amongst us.

Review by Melanie Carroll  (25/03/13)
Jacket
Publisher: Columba Press
Published: March 2013
ISBN: 978-1-856-07721-7
Paperback
Price: £7.50

With Pity Not With Blame

- Contemplative Praying with Julian of Norwich and the Cloud of Unknowing

by Robert Llewelyn


This is not a new book though it is new to Canterbury Press (indeed I have one of the earlier DLT versions gracing my shelf already), however it is indeed worthy of this reprint being a classic work from Robert Llewelyn. With Julian of Norwich having been made a Doctor of the Catholic Church recently it is indeed a timely and welcomed reprint of a lovely and gentle but thoroughly engaging book on how to undertake contemplative prayer that also introduces us thoroughly to Julian of Norwich and her teachings and insights. That it also incorporates a consideration of The Cloud of Unknowing alongside Julian only increases the joy of reading this book.

Whether you are new to contemplative praying or an old hand and member of a Julian Group, whether you too had a copy of this book and read it many years ago or have never heard of it before, I can honestly say that this is well worth reading, and it is good to see it get a fresh airing.

Review by Melanie Carroll  (02/03/13)
Jacket
Publisher: Canterbury Press imprint of Hymns Ancient & Modern Ltd
Published: 25 January 2013
ISBN: 978-1-848-25287-5
Paperback
Price: £12.99

Kneeling With Giants

- Learning To Pray With History's Best Teachers

by Gary Neal Hansen


Kneeling with giants is an excellent primer on the differing modes and styles of prayer that have arisen from across Christian history and tradition. It's an excellent guide to understanding how important it is that we understand that there is not one way to pray for every person but that instead there are styles of prayer that suit each individual or time of life for each person regardless of their faith tradition and denomination. Prayer is not a dormant activity but an active one and as such prayer patterns and needs can change. This book crosses denominational and faith boundaries as it looks generously and insightfully at a mix of Catholic, Reformed Protestant, Orthodox, etc. prayer styles. Each chapter is a wonderful introduction to the practice of prayer as put forward by a leading proponent of its style and tradition, thus a small glimpse into its history but also a good look at how this style works, why it works and how it can best be used. The appendixes at the end and indeed the preface explain how this book can be used either by individuals or better still by groups. The ten sessions it would take to work through this book would be an excellent experience for any church group and well worth undertaking - particularly wonderful, I think, if it was done by a churches together / ecumenical group.

The one criticism I have though is that the ebook version, as it informs you from the beginning, has an extra 'reader' or companion volume included with it. I think it a serious injustice that you are expected to also buy the ebook version to obtain access to this. There is no reason that online access to the companion volume should not be made available to those that have purchased the book in print form.

This book on its own is an excellent read and I do not feel I have missed much by not having access to the companion volume. I will not be paying out extra money to buy the ebook just for this collection of 'reader' material, which with a little effort can largely be found for free on the internet anyway.

Review by Melanie Carroll  (29/01/13)
Jacket
Publisher: IVP(Inter Varsity Press)
Published: June 2012
ISBN: 978-0-830-83562-1
Paperback
Price: £9.99

New Testament Prayer for Everyone



by Tom Wright


This slim volume (102 pages) is a compilation of Tom Wright's meditations on prayer, drawn from his popular For Everyone series. Tom's introduction is the only 'new' material, but it is written in his inimitable style - refreshing, easy-to-read and compelling. This distillation of his teaching is designed to draw us further onwards in the journey of prayer. He writes "Prayer is always a journey into the unknown, a voyage of discovery... But whether we find it hard or easy, the steady flames of prayer from the New Testament will be there so that we can light our own candles from them."

The book is then divided into easily accessible sections - under two main headings 'New Testament Teaching on Prayer' and 'Prayers of the New Testament'. If you are familiar with the For Everyone series you will know that Tom Wright quotes in full his own translation of each passage he uses, then follows it with clear and well-illustrated teaching. The highlight of the book for me was the section on Jesus' prayer in Gethsemane. I felt that Tom had entered into Jesus' agony, heart and soul and that helped me to follow Him there too.

Visit the author's website:ntwrightpage.com/

Review by Jackie Rowe  (28/01/13)
Jacket
Publisher: SPCK (Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge)
Published: September 2012
ISBN: 978-0-281-06906-4
Paperback
Price: £8.99

Watching, Waiting, Walking

- A prayer pattern and a discipleship path

by Andy Rider


This little book is, on the author’s own admission, about 'habits', ones from which our lives may benefit, ones that may even bring us closer to God. Andy Rider has an easy style and a clarity that encourages us to take his trains of thought for our own. For instance, his watching leads us into prayer, a watching of ourselves that generates confession which can itself be the seed of rebirth. Similarly waiting and walking are explored in a way that reveals their 'holy habits'.

Andy Rider therefore encourages us into a more perceptive life that steadies our business and shapes our days so that God is able to work the mystery of his revelation through us. It is a worthwhile book and one I can certainly recommend.

Review by Paul Scott  (11/01/13)
Jacket
Publisher: SPCK (Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge)
Published: October 2012
ISBN: 978-0-281-06394-9
Paperback
Price: £7.99

Everything the Bible says about Prayer



by Keith Wall


Just 126 pages in which to say everything the Bible says about prayer?
At first glance this book looks overly optimistic. Yet this is no simplistic guide to prayer that is likely to raise the expectations of a new Christian unrealistically. The opposite is closer to the truth. This is a thoughtfully introduced and compiled collection of Bible quotations that would make an ideal gift for any recently baptised or confirmed adult. In fact that is precisely where my review copy is headed!

The book is divided into 14 sections. The first 12 guide the reader through the nature and practice of prayer. Topics include the elements of effective prayer, Jesus' own teaching on prayer, praying for wisdom, forgiveness, justice, protection, healing, adversity and prosperity. The final two sections of the book look first at prayers that one will find in the Bible and finally at thoughts on prayer by classic Christian writers. Despite its slimness this book is surprisingly comprehensive, except in the final section where classic writers before the Victorians are unfortunately ignored. That aside if my experience is anything to go by, many will find this slim volume enormously helpful. After a particularly difficult Sunday, the book fell open at a quote from Psalm 91. Perfect.

Review by David Ford  (17/12/12)
Jacket
Publisher: Bethany House imprint of Baker Pub from Lion
Published: 01 June 2012
ISBN: 978-0-764-21029-7
Paperback
Price: £6.99

In The Grip Of Light

- The Dark And Bright Journey Of Christian Contemplation

by Paul Murray OP


The studies in this book were originally given as a series of talks and that flow remains with them throughout this short but nonetheless insightful and considered work. The subject, so well covered, is mysticism, but more importantly in the first chapter it is the fire of that mysticism, the imagery and power of flame and light and dark, the living spark that enthuses through the mystic words of Catherine of Siena, John of the Cross, Meister Eckhart and Teresa of Avila, with forays into others such as the scientist Blaise Pascal. In the second chapter we encounter Bernard of Clairvaux and the wonder and experience that is the Word, it's a lovely chapter both on Bernard and on preaching as experience. Finally we end with a short but lovely chapter on the Dominican tradition of contemplative prayer. All in all this is a lovely little book of insights on what mysticism and contemplation have to show us today, and indeed how much they have already influenced us at heart.

Review by Melanie Carroll  (17/12/12)
Jacket
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Published: June 2012
ISBN: 978-1-441-14550-5
Paperback
Price: £10.99

The Prayer We Offer

- A Catholic Guide to Communion with God

by Peter J Vaghi


The book is subtitled A Catholic Guide to Communion with God and the author has extensive experience as priest and teacher. The book is concerned with a proper appreciation and understanding of prayer. Prayer is basically a lifting of our hearts and mind to God. Christ's injunction was 'to pray always without becoming weary' and to include prayer in everything we do in this life. The first part of the book looks at prayer in general, particularly in scripture, the Eucharist and the catechism and in the writings of Pope Benedict XVI and John-Paul II. The second part of the book examines in detail the Lord's prayer, the Our Father, which is the quintessential prayer of the Church and expresses a summary of the whole Gospel. Father Vaghi then examines that great chain of prayers, the Rosary, looking at each of the mysteries in detail, including the new 'Luminous Mysteries' of John-Paul II. Lastly there is a close examination of that final great prayer of Jesus on the cross at Gethsemane, the Last Words. Each of the seven petitions are looked at in depth. This book is a valuable contribution to spirituality and is both practical and accessible.

Review by John Irvine  (15/12/12)
Jacket
Publisher: Ave Maria Press from Alban Bks
Published: 03 April 2012
ISBN: 978-1-594-71294-4
Paperback

Sanctuary of The Soul

- A Journey Into Meditative Prayer

by Richard Foster


A lovely gentle book that takes us into the mystery and understanding of meditative, or as some may call it contemplative, prayer in Richard Foster's inimitable and considered way. There is to this book a cadence that matches the subject being considered and taught. A considered and slow rhythm gently leads you into the Biblical and theological consideration of meditation and reflective prayer, and from there through stories of others who have journeyed into the heart of meditative prayer, be they early church people or our modern contemparies or even Foster himself. We are led into a guide of how to become practitioners of this ancient and important way of praying and knowing ourselves in relationship with God.

For some this tempered pace may seem a little too slow, but for those yearning for the stillness to be found in this form of prayer this book will be a wonderful tool and guide.

Review by Melanie Carroll  (28/11/12)
Jacket
Publisher: Hodder
Published: August 2012
ISBN: 978-1-444-70258-3
Paperback
Price: £9.99

Praying Our Lives

- A Woman’s Treasury of Catholic Prayer

Edited by Eleanor Bernstein CSJ


This is the last book by Sister Eleanor Bernstein who died recently. She was at one time Professor of Liturgical Theology at Notre Dame University and has written extensively on prayer, meditation and holy women. This book is a treasury of prayer primarily for women to help them understand more fully their Catholic faith and to enter more deeply into an intimate relationship with God. The prayers, both ancient and modern, traditional and contemporary, are drawn from the Scriptures, both from the Book of Psalms and from the writings of mystics, men and women. They are inspired by the great feasts and seasons of the Church, Advent, Lent, Christmas and Easter, and also to the times of the day, morning, midday, evening and night. There are prayers for peace in the home and for the wider human family. Many relate to the changing social status of women and to women’s experiences as wives, mothers and daughters. All these prayers are catholic in the true sense of the word.

Review by Alexandra Irvine  (18/08/12)
Jacket
Publisher: Ave Maria Press from Alban Bks
Published: February 2012
ISBN: 978-1-594-71270-8
Paperback
Price: £11.99

50 New Prayers From the Iona Community



Selected by Neil Paynter


This is a lovely, but sadly not cheap, little book of some wonderful prayers, 50 as the title mentions, from across the globe but arising from within the Iona Community and/or its sister communities. They are, as one would expect from such a place, gentle but insightful prayers that cover a range of subjects and idea’s and would work well in a number of different circumstances, times and places from school assemblies to formal church gatherings.
I loved the prayers contained within this little book and I really liked the small section at the end of the book entitled ‘Thoughts on prayer from a scrapbook’ which is a collection of quotes, thoughts and ideas on prayer from a wide range of sources and faiths which can in turn help trigger your own thoughts, considerations and prayers. A lovely little book indeed.

Review by Melanie Carroll  (30/07/12)
Jacket
Publisher: Wild Goose Publications
Published: March 2012
ISBN: 978-1-849-52216-8
Paperback
Price: £10.50

Petals of Prayer

- Reflections and Resources for Dementia Sufferers and Their Carers

by Siobhán O’Keeffe


It’s an unfortunate title for such an impressive book – had I come across it on the shelf of a bookshop I would have passed on, but perhaps that’s a man thing. O’Keeffe calls dementia a ‘new mysterious reality’, yet that underplays the associated fear and anger which she attempts to dispel. There are blessings though – yes, even with such a destructive disease – like a deeper awareness of the gifts of life, of the simple reality of being.
O’Keeffe begins with a helpful couple of pages on what dementia is, and its diagnosis. Then come the prayers and reflections, for those living with dementia, some for carer’s, and finally those for use as general intercessions. Many begin with a scriptural quotation. What they display is the vast spread of human life caught up, joy in hens and chickens, the death of a dog, the washing, holiness, to the final goodnight, my love. O’Keeffe does not avoid the pain and distress, but every prayer is gentle, affirming, and drenched in love.
The final part of the book offers information, resources to help on the journey. It is a book that many will find invaluable, the honest words of those who have known the road for themselves, or accompanied others.

Review by Paul Scott  (21/07/12)
Jacket
Publisher: Kevin Mayhew Publishers
Published: 2011
ISBN: 978-1-848-67329-8
Paperback
Price: £9.99

Heart to Heart

- A Cardinal Newman Prayer Book

by John Henry Newman


This is a welcome reprint of the compilation from Blessed John Henry Newman's writings by Father Daniel M. O'Connell, S.J., published in 1938, with a new 'Foreword' by Professor Cyril O'Regan. This anthology of Newman's poems, prayers, reflections and meditations 'stresses the connection between true faith and right behavior.' (p. xix). The language is formal yet personal and one realises how close to and comfortable he was in the presence of God.
The 'Contents' are divided into nine sections ('Holy Trinity', 'Our Lord's Sufferings' and Stations of the Cross, 'Risen Savior', 'Holy Ghost', 'Eucharist', 'Blessed Virgin', 'Purgatory', 'Confession' and 'Saints') and one should be able to find a particular piece through the Indexes of 'First Lines' and 'Titles'. There are also suggestions for Morning and Evening Prayers and 'Selections by Seasons of the Year'.
It is good that, unlike some collections, Newman's own words have not been 'updated' or 'modernised' ('You' for 'Thou' etc.).However, 'American spelling' has crept into the text (e.g. 'Savior' (p. 77), 'favors' (p. 245)) but in an inconsistent manner (e.g. 'vigour' (p.142), 'Saviour' (p.137))! Also, Newman was more than just 'influential' in the founding of the Oratory in Birmingham (p.267).
With the wider availability of his writings, it is a pity that full references could not be given to each text, if only so that one may read the complete Sermon or find the context in 'Apologia pro Vita Sua'. This would have enhanced what is a great Prayer Book.
The typeface is comfortable, and the book fits into a large pocket.

Review by J.Nicholas Latham  (16/07/12)
Jacket
Publisher: Ave Maria Press from Alban Bks
Published: February 2011
ISBN: 978-0-870-61255-8
Paperback
Price: £10.99

The Lord and His Prayer

- SPCK Classics

by Tom Wright


Here in this new repackaged title from 2008, Tom Wright approaches the most famous prayer as understood in its historical context. The emphasis of this is in six of the prayer's key phrases pertaining to: the Father, Kingdom, Daily Bread, Forgiveness, Deliverance, and Power & Glory. Wright seeks to create for the reader the Jewish mindset of Jesus' day and how this prayer would be understood by them. Another major theme of this book is that the Lord's Prayer is not merely a prayer to be prayed, but an outline of how a disciple of Christ is to live out a life in obedience.
This is truly a book to meditate and linger with, especially in how we should live out the words of this ancient prayer. I agree with much of Wright's views on this matter, as Christians need to be more committed to the poor and the suffering. This book is a prophetic reminder that we need to be not only praying for such a fulfilment of God's will on earth, but that we are also the very instruments that God will use to build the Kingdom itself. A small masterpiece. Phrase by phrase this is supreme crafting and scholarly faithfulness! All that I wished for was for more length and depth of the pursuit of godly wisdom.

Review by Johnny Douglas  (19/04/12)
Jacket
Publisher: SPCK (Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge)
Published: April 2012
ISBN: 978-0-281-06801-2
Paperback
Price: £8.99

Lectio Divina – The Sacred Art

- Transforming Words and Images Into Heart-Centred Prayer

by Christine Valters Paintner


This is a clear and useful guide to the practice of Lectio Divina or sacred reading, in which scripture is read slowly and prayerfully, with the heart. It is written for those who, like the author, live the normal life of the world but also want to draw within it the rhythms of the monastery. This particular book is unusual in that it seeks to extend Lectio to include other religious traditions and texts, and indeed secular and nature spirituality. This is the current fashion and will appeal to many readers, but is also an area where care is needed, and I would encourage anyone exploring Lectio to seek a fellowship context and not be as individual in their practice as this book alone might lead them to be.

Review by David Thomson  (08/03/12)
Jacket
Publisher: SPCK (Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge)
Published: January 2012
ISBN: 978-0-281-06711-4
Paperback
Price: £10.99

The Everyday Use of the Lord’s Prayer



by Neil Jefferyes


First edition 2005
Now with a very attractive cover, this book dedicated to The Everyday Use of the Lord’s Prayer is for all Christians and is ideal for those just coming to the Christian faith particularly when used with the Lord’s Prayer beads now available. I have come across the use of beads (other than the better known rosary) before and can vouch for their help as an aid to concentration.
The book opens with passages from the prayer explained very fully, Chapter 5 looks at how we can use the prayer by saying a phrase and developing that thought more fully.
There follows thirty-one days of ‘Praise’ prayers based on Bible passages and the words of a Praise hymn for each day. I confess to ‘singing’ the hymns to myself as I read, they were nearly all familiar to me, but the point is that their words are especially prayerful and thought provoking in this context.
Then using the final phrases of the Lord’s Prayer, seven days of Prayer, penitence and Final praise with blank pages for your own words.
This is a book to be used, and used daily. An excellent resource I can highly recommend. Purchases can be made from the link below

Visit the publisher's website:www.highviewbooks.co.uk

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (20/02/12)
Jacket
Publisher: Highview Books
Published: 2010
ISBN: 978-0-954-45624-5
Paperback
Price: £6.00

Prayers for Parishes



by Rupert Bristow


Books of prayers have fascinated me for some years. On my shelves are – inevitably perhaps – Frank Colquhoun’s Parish Prayers and New Parish Prayers, but also the much older A Chain of Prayer Across the Ages compiled by Selina F Fox during the First World War. Rupert Bristow’s latest contribution to this tradition – Prayers for Parishes – should prove equally long lasting for it is comprehensive in its scope and flexible in its use.
Divided into five sections there are a wealth of prayer resources here covering The Church, The world and the community, Health and pastoral, Beginnings and Endings and Festivals, seasons and saints. There is also advice on prayer and prayer resources and a useful section on ‘arrow prayers’.
Stylistically this collection of prayers is closest in construction to ‘collect’ prayers rather than the traditional Eucharistic format of prayer and response. Yet – as the author states in his introduction – his purpose is to challenge the pray-er to reflect on these words and use them in part or in whole or be stimulated to find more appropriate words of their own. This is a resource to be explored and adapted.
Many hard-pressed ministers though will dip in and use these prayers off the shelf; and I intend to do precisely that at this evening’s PCC meeting!

Review by David Ford  (14/02/12)
Jacket
Publisher: Kevin Mayhew Publishers
Published: 2011
ISBN: 978-1-848-67338-0
Paperback
Price: £14.99

Last Thing At Night

- Prayers and Readings for the End of the Day

Compiled by Rima Devereaux


One of the phrases most often heard by the parish priest and spiritual counsellor is: ‘I’d love to pray but I don’t know how or where to start’
This book is another wonderful tool to put into the hands of such a seeker. Based loosely on the evening office of Compline, Rima Devereaux gives us a simple form of night prayer over a 6-week cycle – a psalm, a gospel reading and a reading “from the Church’s tradition” – Gerard W Hughes, St Teresa of Avila, St John of the Cross, Thomas Keating and St Therese of Lisieux are among the authors from whose writings pearls are drawn, each one illuminating the darkness of the world with the Light of Christ – Devereaux’s aim.
Night Prayer begins and ends each day with a very simple introduction and concluding prayers which give a continuum and flowing unity to the daily changing readings.
Devereaux encourages us to use silence and to take time to ponder each phrase until it speaks to us and to ‘sit loose’ on her structure, merely using it as a springboard for communing with God. Her inspiration comes from the occasion in John’s Gospel when two of John the Baptist’s disciples follow Jesus and ask him where he lives; this ends with their staying the night with him. She invites us to use the prayers for last thing at night as our personal invitation to spend the night with Jesus.
I love the concept, love the selection of readings – especially those from the history of the Church – love the book and recommend it without hesitation both for those seeking a pathway into prayer and also for clergy to lend/give to such people.

Review by Nick Horton  (03/01/12)
Jacket
Publisher: DLT (Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd)
Published: October 2011
ISBN: 978-0-232-52884-8
Paperback
Price: £9.99

A Call to Spiritual Reformation

- Priorities from Paul and His Prayers

by D.A.Carson


This newly-formatted reprint of an old classic is, as ever, a pleasure to read. If you are looking for an in-depth study on prayer rooted in Scripture, this is a good place to start. Carson treats eight of Paul’s prayers, each in separate chapters, interspersed with other chapters on topics such as praying for others, excuses for not praying and prayers to a God who is sovereign.
I particularly like the fact that Carson includes the full text of the prayer at the start of the chapter, thus avoiding the need to hold open the relevant Bible page at the same time as holding his book open to the right page. The questions for review and reflection which close each chapter are also a good touch: they encourage deliberate thought by the reader on what has been read.
However, the greatest strength of this book has to be that the majority of these chapters are rooted in actual Scriptural examples of prayer. Too often the prayers which we may hear from other believers and which we may pray ourselves are not founded in Biblical priorities or steeped in Biblical ways of thinking. Yet Carson offers us the remedy: an apprenticeship in prayer with the Apostle Paul. If you have never spent long in the prayers of Paul, then buy this book and let Carson teach you of these riches.

Review by Chloe Lynch  (03/01/12)
Jacket
Publisher: IVP(Inter Varsity Press)
Published: 2011
ISBN: 978-1-844-74552-4
Paperback
Price: £12.99

PrayerWalk

- Becoming a Woman of Prayer, Strength & Discipline

by Janet Holm McHenry


For a decade or more, the author has spent an hour every morning prayer walking and has seen great benefits both in her physical and Spiritual life. In this book she explains how and why she started, how the discipline has progressed over the years and gives tips on how almost anyone can begin a prayer-walking regime of their own.
Part One deals with the practicalities.
Part Two is more concerned with the prayer-dynamics and how the walker’s prayer-horizons can broaden as they spend more time communing with God. The whole is interlaced with her personal experiences – both positive and negative – and those of her family and friends.
An inspiring book for those who find extended prayer difficult and are prone to distraction (many of us!) and a good present for anyone considering a closer ‘walk’ with God in the New Year.

Review by Diane Morrison  (19/12/11)
Jacket
Publisher: WaterBrook Multnomah from TMD
Published: June 2011
ISBN: 978-1-578-56376-0
Paperback
Price: £8.99

Sanctuary of the Soul

- A Journey Into Meditative Prayer

by Richard Foster


Weaving together quotes and stories from the lives of mothers and fathers of the faith as well as powerful encounters with God from his own life, Foster describes the riches to be gained through quietening your mind and heart in order to listen to and obey God more closely. Publisher

TGBS Review to follow

Review by publisher  (28/10/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
Published: 2011
ISBN: 978-1-444-70257-6
Hardback
Price: £12.99

The Chaplet of the Holy Spirit



by Francis Eghomie


This little pocket book of twenty one pages consists of prayers of thanksgiving for the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, these being Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety and Fear of the Lord. There is a particular prayer for each of the gifts. It is intended that these prayers be said with rosary in hand and there is a diagram to help with the order of the prayers. However, if a chaplet is not available or not wanted, the prayers can also be said reading from the booklet. These thanksgiving prayers, compact but comprehensive, are a good and easy way to thank Our Lord for all the graces and favours received from the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity.

Review by John Irvine  (28/10/11)
Jacket
Publisher: St Pauls Publishing from Redemptorist Publications
Published: 2011
ISBN: 978-0-854-39801-0
Booklet
Price: £3.95

The Daily Prayer Rosary

- With Daily and Seasonal Readings from Common Worship

Compiled by Clay Roundtree


The author of this book is an Anglican priest who claims the Rosary for all Christians, not just Roman Catholics. However, there are differences. The meditations are drawn from the psalms and biblical canticles from the Church of England’s Book of Common Worship. The structure is therefore that of the four Offices - Morning Prayer, Day Prayer, Evening Prayer, Night Prayer. The author, although insisting that a set of beads is not essential for good prayer, considers them a help to concentration and a comforting hand tool. The bulk of the book is made up of the classic Rosary prayers throughout the Church’s year from Advent to Easter. Catholics as well as Anglicans will find this book of great practical use, containing not only familiar prayers but also meditations and reflections on the scriptures and liturgy.

Review by John Irvine  (13/10/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Canterbury Press imprint of Hymns Ancient & Modern Ltd
Published: July 2011
ISBN: 978-1-848-25088-8
Hardback
Price: £12.99

Prayers for all Occasions



by Ian Black


This is a wonderful book of short prayers, and whilst 'All Occasions' might be an exaggeration there are many useful additions to the general church year prayers which are more commonly published. There is for example a nice prayer for before a meeting, another for before a concert, as well prayers for such moments as the start and end of the school year, harvest, Mothers Day and so on. There are also some for significant moments in pastoral care; betrayal, divorce, expecting a baby, blessing a home. It includes rather more whimsical prayers, for chocolate, beer, and April Fools Day for example. The prayers themselves are a good balance of liturgical and everyday language and wouldn't feel out of place in a Church service or in an informal setting. All in all one of the most useful collections of prayers I have come across.

Review by Naomi Nixon  (13/10/11)
Jacket
Publisher: SPCK (Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge)
Published: April 2011
ISBN: 978-0-281-06367-3
Paperback
Price: £9.99

Amish Prayers



by Beverly Lewis


The material here is newly translated, the author tells us, from the 1708 edition of Die Ernsthafte Christenpflicht. The drawings which accompany the text (taken from photographs?) help to create an atmosphere which brings the reader into the Amish world, however superficially. The prayers themselves often seem to be an expanded ‘collect’ form, or perhaps ‘preface’ would be a better description, since God is praised and thanked for his work in creation, and then the individual appropriates the lessons of God’s work for him/herself. Action should then follow..…

Review by Ian Gibbs  (10/10/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Bethany House imprint of Baker Pub from Lion
Published: 2011
ISBN: 978-0-764-20882-9
Hardback
Price: £6.99

Prayer



by Michael Mayne


There is nothing in this short book on prayer that hasn’t been expressed eloquently before by any of the great masters of the devotional life – Simone Weil, Thomas Merton, Harry Williams, to name but a few. But there is nothing wrong with repetition when it is executed so succinctly and effectively as through the pen of Michael Mayne, and to place him in the same company as the aforementioned greats only serves to emphasise the value of this small volume.
Prayer - Mayne stresses – is a journey inwards; it is a state of being not an activity to be completed. It is the only place where we can truly meet ourselves, others and God. In that sense, prayer is the only true reality that exists.
The truth of this is undeniable but it is an uncomfortable reminder perhaps, of how little true prayer exists within the worshipping life of our churches. For many churchgoers prayer is about asking God to do things for us or for others, when instead prayer should simply be calling us to be still in God’s presence, enjoying the company of the divine and listening to the silence. Then miracles can happen.
Potentially useful in all sorts of settings this book should have had ten minutes attention by an editor before being hastened into print. For the text is clearly an un-edited series of talks given at a conference, knowledge of which is assumed in the final copy and yet no explanation is given by way of introduction. That is not what one expects of either Michael Mayne or DLT.

Review by David Ford  (27/09/11)
Jacket
Publisher: DLT (Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd)
Published: July 2011
ISBN: 978-0-232-52862-6
Hardback
Price: £9.99

God's Passion

- Praying with Mark

by Terry Hinks


The gospel traditionally attributed to Mark is probably the one least associated with prayer, but it can still be unearthed there by those willing to dig. The author begins with a warning about the dangers of books on prayer and how they can become substitutes for the real thing. Then follows an introduction to the series – Prayer in the Four Gospels – detailing how they complement each other while each has its own intrinsic value, and a further introduction specifically addressing the beauty and worth of the pared-down brevity that is Mark. This takes up the first forty pages – about a third of the book. The rest comprises forty days of reflections on the text, working systematically through the gospel, ‘to encourage you as you pray... in your own particular situation and with your own perspective.’ The reader is urged to let the living Word of God apply itself first and foremost, but the devotionals are well-written, thought provoking and informative without being too intrusive. The deliberately anonymous gospel writer whose only spotlight is on his Lord and who provided no neat conclusion, because Jesus’ story has not ended and never will, becomes an example in spite of himself. Thoroughly recommended.

Review by Diane Morrison  (27/09/11)
Jacket
Publisher: DLT (Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd)
Published: July 2011
ISBN: 978-0-232-52838-1
Paperback
Price: £8.99

Praying Through

- Finding Wholeness and Healing in the Prayers of David

by John Kitchen


This book held my attention right from the prologue which explained the philosophy of the book, to the very moving epilogue. The author takes some of the psalms written by David and shows us how to pray through them. Each chapter begins with an imaginative re-telling of the circumstances David was in when he wrote a particular psalm. John Kitchen then deals with emotions or situations that most of us will encounter at some time in our lives. So, for example, we are shown how to 'pray through' in times of betrayal, personal disaster, loneliness, humiliation, spiritual drought. I found the suggestions for prayer and meditation at the end of each chapter extremely helpful. I read the book during a period when some friends of mine had lost their lives in a traumatic incident overseas, so the chapter on praying through atrocity was especially relevant. John really does what it says on the cover. He 'leads us on a healing journey through the prayers of King David into a more intimate fellowship with our Father'.

Review by Jackie Rowe  (30/06/09)
Jacket
Publisher: CLC Wholesale
Published: June 2007
ISBN: 978-0-875-08978-2
Paperback
Price: £8.50

The Art of Biblical Prayer



by J.W.Rogerson


‘Prayer’ is a word that is used in a number of different ways. For many people it means essentially petition or intercession. Understood in this way, prayer easily becomes an ‘extra’ – something that is not essential to Christianity, but that some Christians do sometimes, as the need arises. Written by an internationally-respected biblical scholar, this book aims to show that prayer should be understood as inseparable from Christianity, in the sense that to practise Christianity is to practise prayer and vice versa. Publisher

Scholarly wisdom, engagement and faith are woven well here in a valuable volume on the needful pathway of prayer. It will call all beyond self-preoccupation, with a humility, lightness and depth. The insight concerning prayer as God’s gift is particularly unique and energetically expressed.
Prayer is meaningfully explored with a thoughtfulness and reflective rigour in this attractive title. Research ability mixes well with soul and vulnerability in a refreshing and rare way. Helpful and hopeful! Johnny Douglas

Review by Johnny Douglas  (16/08/11)
Jacket
Publisher: SPCK (Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge)
Published: June 2011
ISBN: 978-0-281-06450-2
Paperback
Price: £9.99