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How I Pray: People of Different Religions Share with Us That Most Sacred and Intimate Act of Faith Paperback – September 20, 1994
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From Publishers Weekly
"Asking how I pray is a real Western question," observes High Star, a Lakota Sioux singer. Nevertheless, he and 26 other Americans, a cross section representing the breadth of religious traditions in this country, answer that and almost two dozen similar questions. The result is a very readable collection of honest reflections on the technique and the value of prayer. The techniques are as varied as the respondents themselves, encompassing everything from communal liturgy to spontaneous private expression, from eloquent words to simple silence. Paradoxically, many of those interviewed say that they experience the inward practice of prayer as a turning outward, a change in perspective that leads to greater awareness of the needs of others and to a heightened desire to improve their community and the world. Regardless of religious orientation, however, those who worry that they "don't know how to pray" will find this book to be an encouraging introduction to the habit of prayer.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
This is a collection of short narratives reconstructed by the editor from 26 structured interviews about prayer. It is readily accessible to a general audience, and, given the widespread interest in spirituality, it is destined to be a popular book. The reader may tend to be skeptical about any book that begins with the flat assertion that "everyone prays," but Castelli and those he interviews define prayer so broadly that the assertion is almost indisputable. This means that the book is not so much an account of a specific activity identified as "prayer" as a reflection on the spiritual practices of a varied (though not entirely random or representative) group of Americans. The sample is predominantly Christian, with a smattering of other traditions, and as the only Native American respondent points out, the interviews are driven by "a real Western question." But there are valuable insights here, and readers are likely to find browsing through the narratives an interesting (and sometimes rewarding) experience. Steve Schroeder
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