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31 lessons which set a course by which you might grow in the life of prayer. Prayer is not easy, yet prayer can be learned. The Beautiful Work of Learning tro Pray is a very brief but probing guide for those who want to begin, or to deepen, their relationship to God through prayer. James Howell examines the barriers to prayer (such as our busyness, our discomfort with silence, and our doubts and fears) and invites us to take a fresh approach. Each of the 31 lessons begins with a Scripture passage and ends with a prayer. The author shares his own insights about this "beautiful work of learning to pray," and also draws effectively from the insights of a wide array of other writers. A study guide provides assistance for a 3- or 6-week group.
Prayer is not easy, yet learning to pray can be learned. The Beautiful Work of Learning to Pray is a brief but probing guide into the life of prayer. James Howell examines the many barriers to prayer (such as our busyness, how uncomfortable with silence we are, our doubts and fears) and invites the reader to take a fresh approach to the devotional life.
Each lesson begins with a scripture passage and the author draws comfortably and appropriately from a rich array of other sources (Annie Dillard, St. Augustine, Henri Nowen, Kathy Mattea, Madeleine L Engle, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, St. Francis, Oscar Romero, and the movie Good Will Hunting are a sampling.) The author s own engaging writing style, including his ability to illumine his ideas with the shared wisdom of others, is a major strength of this book.
While each lesson is only two book pages long, the author draws from a deep well of wisdom about prayer. Howell leads the reader through the subjects of prayer (e.g. praise, confession, giving thanks), and digs deeply into theological issues such as whether prayer works, prayer and suffering, and forgiveness. According to the author, In the end, prayer draws us into community with others-- out of our curved in lives and into the world in service.
The Beautiful Work of Learning to Pray will be helpful to the novice in spiritual life as well as long-time Christians who are striving for a more profound relationship with God. Includes Study Guide, List of Sources, and Scripture Index. "
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