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Learning to Pray Again: Peace and Joy Through an Ancient Practice Paperback – January 21, 2015
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About the Author
Michael Rinehart is a bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He lives in Montgomery, Texas.
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While clearly rooted in a deep knowledge of church history, theology, and liturgy, "Learning to Pray Again" again is a light read - easily accessible for people of just about any educational or faith background. Michael Rinehart has written a useful guidebook for congregations, small groups, and individuals to use in deeping their prayer lives.
Broken into 40 short chapters (2 pages), "Learning to Pray Again" is a great resource for Lent (or any similar 40 day campaign). Each chapter describes a particular prayer practice, or way to pray - and then provides concrete ways for the reader to engage in this practice. In the Appendix, one will find an outline to adapt this book into a 6-week program.
Many of us have experienced times in our lives when our prayer life has gotten stagnant - stuck in a rut - or seasons when we have found it hard to even pray at all. This book will shake you out of that rut, and invite you into a life of deep, meaningful prayer.
The book invites the reader to think about prayer in a different way than many of us—particularly the laity—are used to envisioning. The Reverend Michael Rinehart immediately grabs our attention when he writes in the introduction: “There have been many times in my life that I have been stuck in my prayer life. For one reason I felt I couldn’t even pray.” I find this statement both astonishing and refreshing particularly because it comes from a bishop of the ELCA. A quick check of the table of contents likewise signals that old road maps to prayer have largely been discarded. To be sure some of the expected topics, like table grace and the Lord’s Prayer, are covered. But the book also ventures into controversial topics like public prayer and praying like a hypocrite. And some prayer suggestions are just downright fun; the chapters on praying with kids using puzzles and side-walk chalk struck this grandfather as particularly appealing.
Dr. David Neubauer, Professor Emeritus, University of New Orleans