Ten Ways to Pray: A Short Guide to a Long History of Talking with God

Ten Ways to Pray: A Short Guide to a Long History of Talking with God

by Dawn Duncan Harrell

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Overview

Do you want to begin or re-energize a habit of prayer? Perhaps you are tired of gimmicks and too busy or bored to read books heavy on theology and inspiration. You would rather talk with God than check prayer requests off a list. Or fall asleep.

Every chapter in Ten Ways to Pray supplies a brief story of one historic saint's struggle to pray and a description of his or her approach to being with God. It keeps the rationale behind each prayer method to a paragraph and the discussion of human longings and Christian challenges short. Praying, rather than reading about prayer, is the goal, so the bulk of each chapter explains how to work the proposed method. Here readers can follow clear steps easily, but may also find something new when they return for a second try.

Because praying a little is better than not praying at all, this book provides suggestions for how to try a prayer in short bursts when longer periods of time are not available. And it offers ideas for using the method with a prayer partner or small group. Chapters conclude with questions and resources for further study.

This is not a prayer journal, though journaling is encouraged. It's not a book of ancient prayers, though each saint is quoted in his or her chapter. It is neither a theology, nor an anthropology, though it references the first and builds methods around spiritual direction tools that address human nature. Neither is it a Bible study, though Scripture is frequently cited.

You might think of this as Cook's Illustrated for pray-ers. The point is to remove obstacles and add strong, but not cumbersome, support so that people can stop reading and pray.

"Harrell's book is a masterful intersection of devotion and scholarship. Rich in inspiration, practical and adaptable for both individuals and small groups, there is something here for believers in any tradition or at any stage of their Christian pilgrimage. The ten models for prayer she has culled from church history and its two millennia of practice and tradition are beautifully woven together with short biographical sketches of the pioneers of the faith who are most closely associated with them. Harrell offers bountiful and insightful suggestions on how Christians in the twenty-first century will benefit and be blessed by incorporating facets of these prayers as part of their daily walk, as well as in longer seasons of prayer or retreat. Questions for contemplation, application and/or discussion with others, detailed study notes, and extensive bibliographies make this small volume an invaluable addition to any believer's arsenal of devotional aids."-Thomas Crumb, First Congregational Church of Pomfret, Connecticut

"Ten Ways to Pray celebrates the gift of prayer. Here readers are invited to explore their relationships with God and to learn to pray. It is a valuable resource for teachers, students, spiritual directors, and anyone desirous of deepening their spiritual life. This very readable and practical book provides a history of each type of prayer and the practice of the prayer for both individuals and groups. I highly recommend it."-Kathleen Hagerty, Solomon Carter Fuller Mental Health Center

"Dawn Duncan Harrell has captured the attention and interest of the reader by presenting several disciplines of prayer for all who yearn to go deeper in their relationships with Christ, to listen and hear his voice, and to respond to his leading. The use of story-telling, centered around ten faithful Christians, gives the reader an informative snapshot of why the particular method was practiced. Ten Ways to Pray is a powerful tool for personal use or within the small group venue. The reflection and personal questions are well-constructed and, without a doubt, create edifying dialogue. This book will certainly awaken the reader to a new level of experiencing the power of prayer!"-Diana Curren Bennett, Leadership Transformations, Inc.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780615581743
Publisher: Stone's Throw
Publication date: 01/12/2012
Pages: 146
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.31(d)

About the Author

Dawn Duncan Harrell, MDiv, has served as a spiritual director, teacher, and lecturer on prayer at Park Street Church and Boston Rescue Mission, in Boston, Massachusetts. She is former associate editor of church history, Gospels, and practical theology for Hendrickson Publishers. Now while her daughter plays at preschool, she continues to write and ministers in a lay capacity at Colonial Church in Edina, Minnesota.

-Follow her at twitter.com/dwndncnhrrll.
-Contact her at dawnduncanharrell.com.
-Read about her prayer adventures at tenwaystopray.com.
-Write about your own experiences with these prayers at facebook.com/tenwaystopray.

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