Item description for The Practice of Prayer (The New Church's Teaching Series, Vol 4) by Margaret Guenther...
In this down-to-earth book on the essentials of prayer, Margaret Guenther answers many of the common questions of the spiritual life, such as How do we learn to listen to God in our prayer? and, How do we develop a life of prayer in the midst of busy, active lives? She includes practical descriptions of a number of ways Christians have prayed through the centuries, from using the Jesus Prayer or rosary to praying with the stories of scripture and prayer book liturgies. Guenther also discusses basic matters of Christian practice, such as making a confession, intercession, going on retreat, simplifying our lives, using a journal to pray, finding a spiritual director, and praying through times of desolation when God does not seem to be listening.
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Studio: Cowley Publications
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.64" Width: 5.56" Height: 0.58" Weight: 0.75 lbs.
Release Date Jul 1, 1998
Publisher Cowley Publications
Series New Churchs Teaching
Series Number 4
ISBN 1561011525 ISBN13 9781561011520
Availability 0 units.
More About Margaret Guenther
Margaret Guenther is an Episcopal priest, spiritual director, and retreat leader. She recently retired as professor of ascetical theology at The General Theological Seminary in New York, where she was the director of its Center for Christian Spirituality. Her other books include Holy Listening: The Art of Spiritual Direction and Toward Holy Ground: Spiritual Directions for the Second Half of Life.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Practice of Prayer (The New Church's Teaching Series, Vol 4)?
With arms outstretched... Jun 14, 2004
The Episcopal church in the twentieth century took advantage of the general availability of publishing to good advantage, compiling through several auspices different collections and teaching series, the latest of which was only completed a few years ago. There have been 'unofficial' collections of teaching texts, such as the Anglican Studies Series by Morehouse press, put out in the 1980s, as well as an earlier teaching series. However, each generation approaches things anew; the New Church Teaching Series, published by Cowley Publications (a company operated as part of the ministry of the Society of St. John the Evangelist - SSJE - one of the religious/monastic communities in the Episcopal church, based in the Boston area) is the most recent series, and in its thirteen volumes, explores in depth and breadth the theology, history, liturgy, ethics, mission and more of the modern Anglican vision in America.
This fourth volume, 'The Practice of Prayer' by Margaret Guenther, takes a practical and spiritual look at the most basic of spiritual Christian practices, prayer.
Many people, Christians and non-Christians, seek a deeper spiritual life. Many do not realise that this can be from the most basic of practices - mystics and spiritual masters of the past and present find spiritual growth in such simple practices as gardening, baking bread, singing and more. Prayer is a very basic practice, but there is a great, untapped depth to the practice.
Of course, a basic question is, why do we pray? Is anyone listening? Looking at prayer as a form of conversation, Guenther explores the different ways in which the conversation partner, God, might respond to us. After this, Guenther explores the different kinds of prayer - intercession, prayers of praise and adoration, confession, thanksgiving and petition. Each of these types can take a different form, or remarkably similar forms. Intention is very important here. In addition to looking at these specific types of prayer, Guenther looks at the long tradition of prayer practices, from the early Jesus prayer through other types of prayer 'methods' such as Ignatian prayer, centering prayer, and lectio divina, otherwise known as holy reading. Prayers can come from books or without words; prayers can be in the head and heart, or can involve the entire body. Following these descriptions, Guenther concludes this section by looking at larger-scale prayer practices, such as retreats, journaling and forming a spiritual direction relationship.
The second primary section deals with prayer practices in daily life and work. Again going back to the idea that spiritual practices can be very simple and from the ordinary, she looks at God in the kitchen and home life, work life, family and community relationships, and more. She also takes a look at the very important time in life, time of grief and loss, not only of loved ones, but also general stress and trials of life that can leave one depressed, weary, and feeling alone.
Margaret Guenther is an Episcopal priest, well-known also an author and spiritual director. Among her books include several titles on spiritual direction and development. Until recently a professor at the General Theological Seminary in New York, she now leads retreats and accepts speaking engagements to wide audiences.
Each of the texts is relatively short (only two of the volumes exceed 200 pages), the print and text of each easy to read, designed not for scholars but for the regular church-goer, but not condescending either - the authors operate on the assumption that the readers are genuinely interested in deepening their faith and practice. Each volume concludes with questions for use in discussion group settings, and with annotated lists of further readings recommended.
Enriching the Inward Life of Prayer Feb 12, 2004
This book on the practice of prayer comes from our sisters and brothers in the Episcopal Church, as part of their new Church Teaching Series. Prayer is one of the many aspects of Christian life that transcend all denominational boundaries.
Professor Guenther discusses a wide variety of topics, some that we might expect, such as varieties of prayer and retreats, and yet, from some of the subtitles you may gain a sense of her approach. One chapter asks "Is Anyone Listening?" and another asks "Does what I learned in Sunday School really count?" she also tackles such subjects as finding God in the ordinary places and times of life, how prayer relates to parenting, simplicity, and those dry spells when we feel forsaken.
This is a book to be read first for its sweep of content and then to be read repeatedly as a touchstone for our own prayer life. Not every chapter will meet us where we are today, but we will find ourselves at most of the places Professor Guenther discusses over a lifetime's prayer walk.
Key to the book's theme is this passage: "I am writing about the practice of prayer, `Practice' is a reassuringly down-to-earth word. We practice because we are not yet perfect, because we know that we have much to learn. To be fruitful, practice must be faithfully sustained over a long period." (Page 3).
If you have ever asked yourself, "Can we really be on speaking terms with God?" this book is for you. I find this to be a beautifully written book. Professor Guenther writes conversationally, so it is as if one is having a quiet talk about prayer with one who has spent the better part of a lifetime exploring its wonders.
If there are people on your gift giving list for whom a book relating to the inward life would be appropriate, you would find this to be an appreciated gift.
Margaret Guenther is an Episcopal priest, spiritual director and retreat leader who recently retired from the General Theological Seminary in New York City. She has served as director of the Center of Christian Spirituality and is the author of other books including Holy Listening, The Art of Spiritual Direction and Toward Holy Ground: Spiritual Directions for the Second Half of Life.
If you find this review helpful you might want to read some of my other reviews, including those on subjects ranging from biography to architecture, as well as religion and fiction
A book about prayer for real people! Mar 22, 1999
This book defines, describes, and demystifies the traditions of prayer--and makes them accessible to everyone. It begins with a concise history of Christian prayer and proceeds to practical applications for us late-20th-century folk. Chapters with titles like "Finding God in the Ordinary: Your Kitchen Will Teach You Everything" and "Parenting and Prayer: How Do I Pray When the Baby is Keeping Me Up?" address the challenges of integrating spirituality with the demands of daily life. The book concludes with a list of further resources and discussion questions suitable for group or individual use.