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A Guidebook to Prayer: 24 Ways to Walk with God Paperback – December 4, 2013
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"Noting that faith becomes more beautiful through prayer, Morse offers fresh approaches to talking with God, including a catalog of 24 distinct, field-tested prayer methods." (Kathleen Samuelson, CBA Retailers + Resources, October 2013)
"MaryKate Morse's A Guidebook to Prayer illuminates proven pathways for walking intimately with God. It will be a great blessing to all who read and engage the prayer practices she describes." (Ruth Haley Barton, founder, The Transforming Center and author of Pursuing God's Will Together)
"I find A Guidebook to Prayer helpful not as a manual of 'how tos' but as a guide into the reality of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit to whom and in whom we pray. MaryKate Morse guides us also into the many creative ways in which we can open ourselves (and listen) in prayer. And she guides us into prayer that deeply explores our hearts and brings us into a transforming relationship with our Creator. I found myself pausing to talk to God in ways she suggests. I hope many will read and be so guided!" (Leighton Ford, author of The Attentive Life)
"This is the most helpful book on prayer that I have ever read. It is a guidebook on prayer authored by someone whose own life and work are themselves profoundly shaped by the patterns of prayerful communion with God suggested in it. Whether you are looking for a book on prayer to deepen your own walk with God or are leading other people and groups toward a deep and vital spirituality, you will find this book by my friend MaryKate to be one of those rare books that you find off of your shelf more than on it!" (JR Rozko, Missio Alliance)
"Certainly everyone who reads this thorough handbook will learn at least one or several new approaches to prayer! . . . This is the most extensive and fruitful compendium I have ever found!" (Marva J. Dawn, author of My Soul Waits, To Walk and Not Faint and Being Well When We're Ill)
"I recommend this book for those who want to go deeper into the world of prayer as well as those who want to pray but don't know how to pray. Read this book slowly and prayerfully. As you do, you will find yourself falling in love with God." (Joshua Choonmin Kang, pastor and author of Scripture by Heart)
"This book is both timely and important because, during this current period of prevalent prayerlessness in the western church, Morse teaches us about prayer in a doctrinally rich way and offers us twenty-four practical methods for engaging with God in prayer. The book is an excellent resource for both personal devotions and for leaders of group prayer." (Jared Longoria, Artistic Theologian, Vol. 3, 2015)
"This book's content is deep and rich; for readers willing to pace their reading, giving time and intention to new possibilities in prayer, blessings await. Highly recommended." (Carlyn Egolf, Congregational Libraries Today, Fourth Issue 2014)
About the Author
MaryKate Morse is professor of leadership and spiritual formation at George Fox Evangelical Seminary in Portland, Oregon. She is the author of Making Room for Leadership. She holds an M.A. in biblical studies and an M.Div. from Western Evangelical Seminary (now George Fox Evangelical Seminary), and her doctorate in leadership from Gonzaga University. In addition to teaching she also serves as a consultant to churches and organizations in transition or with leadership challenges. She has planted two churches with leadership teams in Portland, Oregon. Along with being a Quaker minister and a trained spiritual director, she also does conference and retreat ministries and mentors leaders.
Joshua Choonmin Kang (ThM, Talbot School of Theology; MDiv, Azusa Pacific University) is founding pastor of New Life Vision Church in the Koreatown area of Los Angeles, California. He is a speaker and has written books such as Deep-Rooted in Christ and Scripture by Heart. Kang is also the author of thirty books in Korean, including God's Grace That Turns the Life Around, with over 1.5 million copies in print.
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The book is set up into twenty-four chapters, each exploring a different type of prayer. These twenty-four types of prayer are categorized according to persons of the Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In each chapter, Morse teaches a doctrinal idea and then explains and guides the reader through a correlating style of prayer. Along with Scriptural exegesis, Morse uses testimonies, quotes, personal anecdotes, and studies from various scientific fields (mostly psychology and sociology) to convey both her teachings and the various modes of prayer.
The book is an excellent resource for both personal devotions and for leaders of group prayer. The step-by-step group-prayer walk-throughs for all twenty-four types of prayer could make for an excellent semester’s worth of material for group bibles studies, etc.
Simply put, this book changed my life and is a resource I continually draw upon for private and group devotions. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
I am an ordained minister in the Christian Church; while I might not be as well traveled as some, I do know that many Christians struggle with prayer. It’s not just the act of praying itself that is difficult for people, but the concept alone of prayer can be a mind-bender. This is why my heart warms as I engage MaryKate Morse’s Guidebook to Prayer. I believe one of the foundational principles for the book can be found in a statement she quotes from Richard Foster defining prayer; “Prayer is nothing more than an ongoing and growing love relationship with God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” How simple and how beautiful is that? A second founding principle is framed in a handful of questions found in her introduction. Morse presents the following questions to assist the reader with consideration of the relational aspects of their prayer life. She writes; “Rather than asking ourselves, ‘Am I praying each day?’ we should ask ourselves, ‘Am I in a love relationship with God today? Am I living like Jesus today? Do I smell the sweet breath of the Spirit today?’” What a wonderful framework for helping one another to walk with and relate to God!
Rather than simply list a bunch of prayer exercises, Morse has chosen to arrange these prayer encounters in a way that expresses deference to the Triune nature of God. There are three parts or sections to the book with prayer exercises modeled to explore and encounter God in the persons of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Examples of these “approaches to prayer” in their respective sections follow: Part One-God the Father, (1) Community Prayer (2) Creative Prayer (3) Work Prayer (4) Contemplative-Rest Prayer (5) Prayer of Confession (6) Blessing Prayer (7) Worship Prayer. Part Two-God the Son, (8) Daily Reflection Prayer—The Examen (9) The Lord’s Prayer (10) The Servant Prayer (11) Simplicity Prayer (12) Prayer in Play (13) Scripture Prayer—Lectio Divina (14) Relinquishment Prayer (15) Forgiveness Prayer (16) Sacrament Prayer. Part Three-God the Holy Spirit (17) Prayer Language—Tongues (18) Conversational Prayer (19) Breath Prayer (20) Healing Prayer (21) Meditative Prayer (22) Discernment Prayer (23) Watch Prayer (24) Rejoice Prayer. This list clearly expresses a very diverse pathway to meeting with God, but the list is not definitive. As MaryKate Morse writes in her introduction, “This guidebook introduces many ways for Christians to pray. It is not a definitive guidebook. There are still other ways to pray.” This Guidebook to Prayer is a starting point…and what a wonderful starting point it is!
Another very helpful structure Morse has included in her book is practical examples for approaching these individual encounters. Each chapter (prayer exercise) features guided suggestions for engaging the style of prayer in the context of an individual approach, partner, or group experience. Morse has thoughtfully included personal testimonials she has collected from people she has met and instructed during her years of retreat guiding and spiritual direction. Also, at the end of each chapter is a brief list of suggested reading for more in depth study in the particular prayer discipline that has been shared.
This really is a great little book. I have already recommended it for our prayer ministry in the church that I serve and attend. We will be using this guidebook as a resource tool for introducing our church family to a broader understanding of prayer and relating with the Godhead. As shared on the back cover, this guidebook is, “A treasure trove of both resources and encouragement, you will find this book to be an indispensable guide to your life of prayer.” I say, “Absolutely!” Thank you, MaryKate Morse and thank you InterVarsity Press for helping to make prayer “less hard.”
I used it every morning for several months, going slowly through all 24 kinds of prayer and practicing them. I learned so much about historical methods of contemplation and reflection. The author draws on monastic traditions, explicates many biblical texts using the original languages, and incorporates many contemporary approaches to spiritual formation. The prayer types are Community, Creative, Work, Contemplative-Rest, Confession, Blessing, Worship, Daily Reflection, The Lord's Prayer, Simplicity, Play, Scripture, Relinquishment, Forgiveness, Sacrament, Tongues, Conversational, Breath, Healing, Meditative, Discernment, Watch, Rejoice.
The book includes many suggested exercises and applications. I think it would be a great book for small groups, Sunday School classes, or spiritual seekers. The author has created a big tent for all those who crave to enjoy the presence of God through listening and speaking as others have done centuries before them.
This book is a keeper.
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Nearly eight years ago—after enrolling in my first year at George Fox Evangelical Seminary—I enrolled in Dr.Read more