Item description for Primary Speech: A Psychology of Prayer by Ulanov...
Overview This book seeks to define prayer not only as a very broad-based reaching out to God, but also, and perhaps more importantly, as a coping tool which people can utilize, day to day, to achieve harmony in their lives. It is a book about prayer as a means of drawing near to God that is written by people who know what they are talking about from experience.
Prayer is our basic expression of religious belief. It is our personal and most private act of devotion. Words cannot do justice to the feelings, wishes, terrors, pains, or pleasures that we exchange with God. This book sets out to define prayer as both a means of drawing nearer to God everyday and as a coping tool that people can use in order to achieve harmony, balance, and satisfaction in their in their lives.
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Studio: Westminster John Knox Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.04" Width: 5.46" Height: 0.49" Weight: 0.5 lbs.
Release Date Mar 8, 2007
Publisher Westminster John Knox Press
ISBN 0804211345 ISBN13 9780804211345
Reviews - What do customers think about Primary Speech: A Psychology of Prayer?
Muddy psycho-babble Jan 15, 2007
A disclaimer - this review is not the result of a thorough reading of the book - I simply couldn't read it for more than a page or two at a time. As best I can gather - the authors intended to tell us about prayer - and that they did a long string of declarative sentences, without personal statements or examples or interesting narative of any sort. If you are looking for guidance or inspiration for your prayer life, dear reader - keep looking.
P.S. I purchased the book at the recommendation of a pastor - who has since told me that his recommendation came from divinity school connections - I'm still looking for the first person who actually read this thing....
This is a good one! Jul 9, 2006
Wonderfully articulated book on prayer from the perspective of prayer as a language...in fact, the primary language. The authors are able to include the psychology of prayer sacrificing neither the mysticism nor the practical. Reading this text both tantalizes and encourages the reader to open to new vistas in his or her own life of prayer.
Excellent book on prayer Dec 25, 2005
The authors account for the fundamental nature of prayer in human lives. According to them, prayer is like a primary speech. "In prayer we say who in fact we are - not who we should be, nor who we wish we were, but who we are." They raised six important aspects of human lives and they invite us to bring them to prayer. These are desire, projection, fantasy, fear, aggression and sexuality.
They acknowledge the importance of desire in prayer and say it is the motivating factor for prayer. Projection has been used in various forms throughout the history of philosophy and religion to discredit religion. Feuerbach was the first to use the terminology in this sense. Both Freud and Marx adapted it and applied it to reflect their own positions. Their underlining thesis is that we project to a god our own powers. The authors beautifully took this same terminology and applied it in a very positive and enriching way. They see projection as one of the ways we can reach out to God. They wrote, "In prayer we must begin where we are, with the images of the divine that we project and find ourselves projecting onto the unknown."
The authors opine that silence is one of the first fears that come in prayer. Their description of the fear of silence in prayer sounds like John and Teresa's description of the dark night of the soul. Rather than run away from prayer because of the fears or prayer taking us away from our fears, the authors say that prayer takes us into the center of these fears and help us to live through them.
One of the things people have the tendency to keep very secret is their sexuality. Sometimes people want to hide it from God, yet, it is at the very center of our lives. The authors invite us to contemplate our sexuality. They say, "our contemplative concentration must include our sexuality just as our sexuality must include our contemplative life." This is definitely the best book on prayer I have read in recent times. The authors made appropriate use of the tools of psychology to help us pray without reducing prayer to psychology. It is practical, clear and very inviting. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in praying better. It is a must have for ministers, religious counselors and spiritual directors.
On bringing anything & everything into prayer Aug 5, 2000
Your anger at God, your fear that there is no God, your suspicion that prayer is just a bunch of superstitious nonsense--bring it all into prayer. With chapters like "Prayer and Aggression" and "Sexuality and Prayer," this book gives you permission and encouragement to be completely honest in prayer, to freely and fully express all that is on your mind and in your heart. The approach is psychological, but without _reducing_ prayer to psychology.
(If, like me, you have serious doubts that this world full of suffering has a God worth praying to, I also highly recommend Karl Rahner's "The Need and the Blessing of Prayer.")
email@example.com Mar 29, 2000
Barry and Anna Ullanov's Primary Speech is a worthy addition to our understanding and much needed concrete experiences of prayer. It is a book about prayer but quickly brings the reader to identify with the struggle that prayer sometimes is. Once people begin to pray prayer quickly goes on the fast track, so to speak, of the known and unknown within us. Psychologically and spiritually speaking prayer does dwell in "primary speech." I was encouraged by this book because it confirmed and enlightened my own experience of prayer at a time when prayer is difficult and bewildering.
Primary Speech brings the reader and practitioner in prayer to some of the most essential elements of the prayer journey: accepting oneself, the courage to go deeper in prayer, not losing hope and becoming competent in exploring the unknown. The book does not get bogged down in jargon but goes directly to why prayer is natural to us and psychologically essential.
Perhaps we read a book when we most need it, never the less, this book speaks to the heart of the matter of prayer when you are most ready to listen.