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Beginning to Pray Audible – Unabridged

4.7 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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Format: Paperback
Though hailed as a primer for "people who have never prayed before", this book, written by Archbishop Anthony Bloom, is nothing short of spectacular. The book's orinigal title, "School of Prayer" is more appropiate because this book should be utilized by all Christians.
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.
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Format: Paperback
Enchanting in its simplicity, book offers practical guidelines for personal prayer life. In exemplary way author prepares the reader for establishing a live personal contact with God through prayer. His rich background (Archbishop Bloom is an Orthodox Archbishop) combined with previous life experiences (surgeon physician during the time of II World War) offers astonishing depth combined with life applicable illustrations of the process of building of personal prayer life.
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Format: Paperback
I found this book to be helpful with the basics in anyone's prayer life. From the beginner to the most advanced this book thru prayer will strengthen your relationship with God. I also think this book is very well written, the author uses great analogies from life and applies them to biblical stories. This book is for you if you are looking to deepen your prayer life.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For anyone who is seeking a deeper prayer life, whether as one who is beginning a journey or someone who is well along the path of faith, this work is an undescribably rich gift from Metropolitan Anthony to the reader. As I read each chapter, I found myself challenged and encouraged to take my prayer life more deeply inward.
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.
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Format: Paperback
Anthony Bloom's Beginning to Pray is not just for beginners in prayer. In it, Bloom offers practical suggestions for novices in prayer and profound insights for even the most spiritually mature. Bloom draws from a life rich in challenges and communication with people and God in myriad circumstances. His writings of prayer reveal the mysteries that open to a person who prays in God's presence often.

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.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a very short and easy 114 pages.
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).
peace, Didymous
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