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50 Ways to Pray: Practices from Many Traditions and Times Paperback – April 1, 2006

4.9 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A spiritual director, writer and commentator on popular culture, Blythe can say her prayers in many different ways. This helpful and friendly book is jammed with prayer practices from a variety of Christian traditions. Organized by chapters that group prayers by type (body prayers, prayers of imagination, discernment, etc.), each prayer practice is clearly explained step-by-step. The result is a textbook not only of techniques but also a generous understanding of the many modalities of prayer. Blythe finds that prayer can be walked, talked, breathed, drawn or even inferred from television and movies. The breadth of the book provides an imaginative jump start for anyone with a narrow conception of how to pray or a limited repertoire of rote prayers. A leader's guide at the back of the book provides instructions for anyone working with prayer groups. However, this leader's guide section could be more clearly integrated into the text by including page numbers in each chapter that would take the reader clearly back to the relevant pages in the leader's guide. Overall, this book is an excellent resource with breadth and depth for religious educators, spiritual group leaders and anyone wishing to deepen his or her own prayer life. (Apr.)
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Review

"... this remarkable book is a sustained experience of spiritual direction offered by a seasoned spiritual guide." -- John S. Mogabgab, editor of Weavings journal

"This is a basic, balanced, and accessible guide to the variety, promise, and practice of prayer. -- Doug Pagitt, author of BodyPrayer and pastor of Solomon's Porch
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Abingdon Press (April 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0687331048
  • ISBN-13: 978-0687331048
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #182,625 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If your prayer life is, as Anne LaMott puts it, basically "Help me, help me, help me!!!!" and "Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!" and you want to do something about it, this book is for you. The author goes through 9 different prayer styles - contemplative prayer, praying with scripture, praying with the imagination, praying with media, to name a few - and within each style gives several different ways to pray in that particular style. She gives a very brief history of each style, and clear, step-by-step directions on the specific prayers. Also included is a leader's guide for use with groups. I am using it with my group with great results. We are a varied mix of ladies in age, education, experience with praying, and all are finding it helpful and enriching of our prayer lives. As the leader, the book is very user friendly and easy to use while maintaining the depth and integrity of the subject.
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How grateful I am to have a book that offers practical and loving instructions for prayer, without being didactic, paternal or narrow. I especially appreciated the way Blythe reminds us that what we most need to do when attempting prayer, is show up and let God take it from there. Read her introduction to "general principles of group leadership" on page 133 to see what I mean; she counsels small group leaders to call on their gifts and skills while also recognizing that God will work in ways both seen and unseen. I was also glad to be able to learn more about various spiritual exercises that I have heard about and wanted to try, but wasn't sure how or where, to start, or who to ask. As I read 50 Ways to Pray I continually thought of people I know who would appreciate this book, including teenagers. It would form an excellent basis for a group retreat or workshop, as well as personal spiritual exploration. Through her matter of fact yet reverent approach to the Mystery, Blythe offers the reader a model of how we might do the same.
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I love this book! I am a chaplain on a chemical dependency unit and one of the tasks I have given myself is to include prayer as part of the Spiritual Care Curriculum. This offers several different types of prayer--prayer is individual and offering different ways to pray provides for clients an opportunity to select their own way of connecting to their Higher Power.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A great resource for someone personally who wants to grow in prayer and might be stuck in a rut. Also a good source for a pastor, adult religious educator, spiritual guide or companion who wants to help people find their own way to pray. It crosses confessional frontiers with examples from Catholic, Orthodox, Lutheran, Methodist, Quaker and other traditions. Everything from traditional prayer forms with Scripture such as lectio divina to using music and media in prayer. It also has a helpful guide for someone leading a group with practical tips on how to set up the room, leadership styles, evaluating the group's growth. It also has a leader's guide for each of the 50 ways to pray. Get this book! The author is clear and practical in her descriptions and obviously comes from a background in spiritual direction and prayer guidance herself.
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This is a book that will be beneficial for those wishing to grow in their prayer walk with the Lord. I plan to use this in a small group of ladies at my church. Originally it was a class book for a Christian Growth Institute class. Very practical guidance on how to lead and what to do during a class time.
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Easy, practical. Non-sectarian. A great companion for connecting with the divine. I've tried a few of the techniques, and I'm enjoying it. I'm thinking about using this during Lent, trying a different prayer practice every day. There's something in here for everyone.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a wonderful overview of contemplative prayer practices within Christian Tradition and is written in an accessible style. The summaries of each prayer practice are refreshingly concise, and she addresses a broad range of practices. Blythe's bullet points and tips at the end of each section are particularly helpful. I plan to recommend this book to people who seek a resource to help them find a prayer practice most appropriate for them.
-Amos Smith (author of Healing The Divide: Recovering Christianity's Mystic Roots)
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I am using this book for a spiritual exercise class. Most take around 1/2 hour, so it's not a big time committment. People are really enjoying the experience of meditation/silence. There are 50 exercises to choose from - all have been great so far! I highly recommend this for anyone who is interested in the more contemplative side of religion.
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