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Creating a Life with God: The Call of Ancient Prayer Practices Perfect Paperback – June 1, 2003


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Creating a Life with God: The Call of Ancient Prayer Practices + Leading a Life with God: The Practice of Spiritual Leadership
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Product Details

  • Perfect Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Upper Room (June 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0835898555
  • ISBN-13: 978-0835898553
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #476,736 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Daniel Wolpert worked as a psychologist and spiritual director, a farmer, a teacher and a construction worker before earning his graduate degree at San Francisco Theological Seminary. Over the past 18 years he has taught adults and youth and led retreats in such settings as the Art of Spiritual Direction program at San Francisco Theological Seminary, the Youth Ministry and Spirituality Project and Sabbath retreats. Daniel now serves as church pastor in Crookston, Minnesota.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Steve R Peterson on October 11, 2003
Format: Perfect Paperback
Having read a number of books on Christian Spirituality over the last few years, I can't think of one single book that does as good a job as this book in both introducing a number of significant prayer practices and doing so with such vibrancy and depth. It is obvious that Daniel Wolpert has a feel for this subject that is born of broad and deep experience in both using these practices himself and in helping others enter into these practices in accessible and meaningful ways. Anyone looking for an excellant printed guide of ancient Christian prayer practices made very accessable to present use would do well to start with this book. For folks who already have been learning about and experiencing practices such as the Jesus Prayer, Lectio Divina, the Examen, journaling etc., this book will bring fresh insight, inspiration and integration into your thought and experience around these practices. This book is also an excellant resource for learning about and experiencing these practices in a group setting. Each chapter has excellant step by step concrete ideas for using these practices individually or in a group.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 4, 2003
Format: Perfect Paperback
This is an exciting book about prayer. Wolpert's writing shows that he practices what he has set to paper.
Some older prayer traditions feel understandable and comfortable to use after reading Wolpert's book. Some creative prayer understandings make sense, e.g., the idea of group journaling and praying with nature. I especially like the way Wolpert identifies creativity as prayer. Of course God speaks through creative expression! There's also good news about the body--as in body prayer! Wolpert speaks graceful words to our often negative understandings of the body (or at least how we seem not to measure up to magazine cover standards).
This book is rooted in Christ, in the teachings of the Bible, in Christian tradition. It helps us open spiritually to God.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mary Gilthvedt on November 2, 2010
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We are using this book in my congregation with a small group of 10 people in order to learn about individual and group contemplative prayer. It is excellent.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Purple on December 24, 2012
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Reading this book is like having your own spiritual director walking you step by step through a variety of spiritual practices that will draw you closer to God. It includes enough historical background to be interesting but not boring, and enough practical advice to help you as you search for new ways to go deeper with God.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Church Lady Organist on November 10, 2013
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This book is very readable, practical and full of helpful ideas without being preachy. It speaks of difficulties through history with finding a life with God but the focus is on now and the need not only for finding space for God, but living life with God.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Henry Wood Jr on November 24, 2012
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this book was recommended by district supr. david byrum, east district of the umc. indiana conf. i read it first, then went back to what i had highlighted and began to see not only where i was in faith, but where i should be as a pastor, counselor, and mentor. then i really understood why it was recommended and to be truthful i have used it in several sermons recently.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dawn Duncan Harrell on June 24, 2012
Format: Perfect Paperback
Wolpert focuses on biography and practical steps to prayer and he gears his writing toward mainline Christians. His instructions for prayer leave lots of "space" for the reader and as a consequence they may feel too loose and fluffy to people starting out. On the other hand, this space to explore may be welcome to those who have been cramped by prayer "rules" before.

*Creating a Life with God* organizes prayer into four topical categories: the foundations of solitude and Scripture, mental prayer, body prayer, and outwardly focused prayer. His group practices tend to direct people to do a practice individually and then share the results (debrief), rather than praying the method as a community. Wolpert takes a light approach toward Scripture, referencing theological ideas to supporting Scriptures infrequently. In lectio divina, he first directs readers to look for words or phrases from a Scripture passage that interest them personally, passing up Daniel J. Harrington's first "rung" of thinking about Scripture in Biblical context. He addresses various historical figures and their stories rather loosely throughout the book, calling them "traveling companions."

When Wolpert considers addressing God directly, he does not deal with the difficulties that masculine pronouns for God might pose (or cite the biblical descriptions of God's female characteristics). He simply declines to use pronouns. Neither does he overtly reference the reader's need to deal with sin and be freed from oppression. (For example: he omits the designation "a sinner" from his Jesus Prayer.) The concept of a relationship with God arises toward the end of Wolpert's book.

If you're starting from a mainline position, *Creating a Life with God* is a great place to begin.
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