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Beginning to Pray Paperback – September 1, 1970
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In the last few years, a resurgence of prayer books liek the "Prayer of Jabex" by Wilkinson and "Prayer of Jesus" and "The Covering" by Hannagraff are selling of the charts, this book by Bloom is far more superior than their text. Though only about 144 pages, there is much wisdom and the book should be read slowly after much spiritual contemplation.
It is easy to read, yet it contains so much theological depth that it is truly amazing. The first 20 pages are average as it has an interview with Bloom. The real meat begins in chapter one title "The Absence of God" where Bloom writes, "If you look at the relationship (us and God) in terms of mutual relationship, you would see that God could complain about us a great deal more thann we about Him. We complain that He does make Himself present to us for a few minutes we reserve for Him, but what about the twenty-three and half hours during which God may be knocking at our door and we answer 'I am busy..."
This is just a taste - buy the book for a deep look at prayer. You will forever be thankful.
Metropolitan Anthony does not just introduce techniques or give situational advice to finding a fuller prayer life, He challenges the reader to examine an entirely different way of looking at the source of deep and effective prayer. Unlike many evangelical books on the topic, Metropolitan Anthony seeks to teach us how to fish (to use the well worn cliche) so that we may be fed for a lifetime.
I encourage anyone who reads this review to buy this book, read it slowly, over time and allow it to enrich your relationship with God.
The introduction to the book is the transcript of an interview of the author answering questions about his life and ministry. The interview illustrates his qualifications to write a book on prayer. It also shows that his is a remarkable life journey that has taken him from Russia to the Orient to France. He worked his way through college to become a surgeon, eventually being conscripted by the Germans after the occupation of France. He then became ordained as monk in 1948 and served as a monk and a surgeon before leaving his medical practice for ministry.
His first point in writing of prayer emphasizes our state before God. People at some point will face God, and when they do, they will receive salvation or condemnation. He encourages readers to accept their desperate state and to go to God asking for and receiving mercy. Then prayer can begin. Otherwise, God is outside of us and cannot hear. Prayer will be sent to the unknown.
Bloom urges readers to develop a passion for God at the expense of the possessions of the world. He reminds readers that one must take up his or her cross daily to follow Jesus. Bloom offers readers ways to experiment with types of prayers to find what suits them. These include written prayers like psalms, short prayers like the "Jesus Prayer, praying with icons or spontaneous prayers.Read more ›
In it, Metropolitan Anthony manages to produce not only an amazingly clear exposition of Orthodox prayer life, a semi-autobiographical memoir, the beginnings of a modern Christian existential philosophy, and an excellent response to some of the more childish criticisms of religious belief - but, on the whole he produces an excellent piece of literature; full of charming motifs, impassioned narratives, icy-cold journalism, etymologies in partial jest, and mythologies in half seriousness -- All of this emeshed in tentacles of surrealist imagery.
Whether you are an open-minded atheist, a growing Christian looking for practical advice from an elder at prayer, or a thoughtful and critical reader, dissatisfied with two-dimensional dogmatic answers and impatient with ethereal theological theories and jargon, here is an introduction to real Christianity from someone who is not full of it. Rather, he is quite full of humility. (You'll have to read the book to get the joke).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have not finished the book yet, but what I have read is excellent and very deep on the subject of prayer. Read morePublished 9 days ago by Amazon Customer
The book was in good shape but is pretty musty smelling; unpleasant.Published 2 months ago by Barbara Strippelhoff
What seems like a tutorial on simply getting started on prayer turns out to be much more. The insights offered are invaluable as guide posts into Noetic Prayer. Read morePublished 4 months ago by roanstephen
Three things should be said about this book.
1) Having finished it, I immediately had the desire to reread it, fearing I'd not noticed everything Metropolitan Bloom offers... Read more
Excellent book by Metropolitan Bloom. Not too complicated at all and has really helped me in my prayer life.Published 6 months ago by Sally Mathew
A small book that I carry with me as a tool of discernment and encouragement to carry on a conversation with God during the day wherever I happen to be. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Lotta Lee