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Praying with the Church: Developing a Daily Rhythm for Spiritual Formation
     

Praying with the Church: Developing a Daily Rhythm for Spiritual Formation

3.0 2
by Scot McKnight
 

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Scot McKnight, best-selling author of The Jesus Creed, invites readers to get closer to the heart of Jesus' message by discovering the ancient rhythms of daily prayer at the heart of the early church. "This is the old path of praying as Jesus prayed," McKnight explains, "and in that path, we learn to pray along with the entire Church and not just by ourselves as

Overview

Scot McKnight, best-selling author of The Jesus Creed, invites readers to get closer to the heart of Jesus' message by discovering the ancient rhythms of daily prayer at the heart of the early church. "This is the old path of praying as Jesus prayed," McKnight explains, "and in that path, we learn to pray along with the entire Church and not just by ourselves as individuals." Praying with the Church is written for all Christians who desire to know more about the ancient devotional traditions of the Christian faith, and to become involved in their renaissance today.

With his trademark style of getting right to the heart of theological concepts through practical, witty, and memorable examples from everyday life, Scot invites readers to explore: How Jesus prayed, How the Psalms teach us to pray, How Orthodox Christians pray, How Roman Catholics pray, How Anglicans pray, How The Divine Hours of Phyllis Tickle teaches us to pray, And, how praying with the church is an essential part of spiritual formation.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

If the old practice of praying the hours is something you have considered but wanted more instruction in, this volume would be a helpful place to begin. Beginning with a treatise on Jesus, practice of prayer and then moving into a historical discussion on how the Catholic, Orthodox and Anglican traditions practiced prayer, McKnight offers ways praying the hours (or the offices) connects with each.

RELEVANT Magazine July 20, 2006

Publishers Weekly
The so-called "high church" branches of Christianity have practiced liturgical prayer, or prayer with set words and at set hours, for centuries. In this folksy, practical and welcoming guidebook for Protestants unacquainted with, or perhaps even suspicious of, what he calls the "prayer book tradition" of the Church, McKnight attempts to root liturgical prayer in three things: biblical practice, a theology based on "loving God and loving others" and an ecumenical sensitivity to the riches of various Christian traditions. A professor of religious studies at North Park University and a popular writer on Christian spirituality, McKnight explores the Jewish practice of prayer, how Jesus practiced prayer and how various denominations use the Psalms and the Bible as foundations for liturgy. He also draws from his own experiences to illustrate how Christians can use prayer books grounded in the Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Anglican traditions. "Praying with the Church," he writes, "involves allowing our own prayer lives to be adjusted to the sacred rhythms of the Church's prayer tradition." Laced with quotations from many "real-life" users, this helpful volume concludes with a chapter on how prayer book liturgies can be adapted for individual use. (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781557254818
Publisher:
Paraclete Press
Publication date:
11/28/2015
Pages:
194
Sales rank:
1,239,324
Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.45(d)

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Praying with the Church: Developing a Daily Rhythm for Spiritual Formation 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mphilliber More than 1 year ago
Prayer. Sounds like a harmless enough word. People pray in all sorts of ways, whether in gasps of ejaculated cries for help in a crisis, or in planned "quiet time" moments, or in coordinated settings of congregational worship. Yet, in my years of being a pastor, I find that probably most Christians struggle with how to pray, how to generate enough energy, tenacity and creativity to sustain a "prayer life". In my experience part of the problem comes with the notion that all of my prayers need to be of my own crafting. I, personally, have only so much in the area of creative juices, and then I run dry. One remedial question to ask is, do I have to always concoct my own prayers for them to be real? Scot McKnight, professor of New Testament at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary, resoundingly says "No!" in his 176 page paperback titled, "Praying with the Church: Following Jesus Daily, Hourly, Today." McKnight builds a case that makes a nice distinction between "praying in the church" (personal, extemporaneous prayers prayed whenever) and "praying with the church" (crafted, traditional prayers from prayer books, prayed at set times). This simple read is for layperson and pastor alike. In the first segment of "Praying with the Church" McKnight explains his distinction, and pulls together biblical precedent for using the Church's prayers and doing so at the set times traditionally used during daily prayer. The author claims that as we do this we "are joining hands and hearts with millions of other Christians to say the same thing at the same time. By doing this, we are creating in our lives a sacred rhythm of prayer" (2). In this way we are interacting in one aspect of communal spiritual formation where we "are formed together as we learn to pray together" (38). There are times to pray spontaneously, offering petitions for things close to home and for people close to the heart. Then there are appropriate times to implore God's care and mercy, using prayers that remind us that we are involved in the Church of Jesus Christ world over. McKnight's point is well taken. In a narcissistic nation of personal selfies and private subjectivity, daily rising up to pray with and for the Church can be a medicinal tonic that fuels praying with new freshness. This is, in my mind, the best and most helpful part of the book. The second segment of "Praying with the Church" is more a biographical tale of McKnight's employment of various prayer books; the Orthodox "Manual of Eastern Orthodox Prayers," the Roman Catholic "Liturgy of the Hours," the Anglican "Book of Common Prayer," and Phyllis Tickle's "The Divine Hours". Most of each individual chapter is an explanation as to the use of a specific prayer book, and a forewarning of things a reader might find hard to swallow. Yet throughout, the author reminds his readers why taking this adventure may propel them further up and further on. Though this portion of the book will give some readers fodder to feed on and courage to "dabble" in new things, nevertheless others will be disappointed. I imagine that in the end the Orthodox will "harumph" and write that chapter off as not Orthodox enough; that the Roman Catholic will shake their heads in dissatisfaction and dismiss that chapter as not Catholic enough; and that the Anglicans will smile, nod their heads knowingly and discount that chapter as not Anglican enough. The only person who may well be excited and cheer with glee will be Phyllis Tickle, who likely appreciates the extra coverage her books receive and the free advertisement.  All said, "Praying with the Church" has subtle, soothing strengths and disappointing, dissatisfying drawbacks. Those who may benefit the most from this little tool will be just about anyone who finds their prayers stilted and stumbling and who long to pray anew, both in the Church and with the Church. Pick up a copy and take it out for a spin.