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Prayer Primer : Igniting a Fire Within Paperback – March 4, 2002

4.8 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Whether they recognize it or not, human beings universally experience a hunger for God. Prayer Primer responds to that need by showing readers how to develop a relationship with God through prayer. Author and spiritual director Dubay introduces beginners and refreshes experienced prayers with teaching about the why and how of prayer. He explains the nature of vocal prayer, meditation, contemplation, and liturgical prayer. In addition to helping readers get started praying, he deals with problems such as finding time to pray and answers frequently asked questions.

About the Author

Fr. Thomas Dubay, S.M., a teacher and retreat master on prayer and the spiritual life, is the author of the best-selling book on prayer Fire Within, as well as The Evidential Power of Beauty, Seeking Spiritual Direction, and Faith and Certitude.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 188 pages
  • Publisher: Servant (March 4, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1569553394
  • ISBN-13: 978-1569553398
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,495 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I remember, going back a few years now, setting out to explore the soaring interior trails blazed by the great Carmelite mystics, Sts. Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross, only to turn back in dismay. It seemed as though Teresa's mansions and John's dark nights, at least as laid out by the prayer masters themselves, were beyond my reach. Was I not sufficiently `spiritual' -- or just not smart enough? I didn't know. I just knew I wasn't getting anywhere with these two.
Not long after, I was browsing a relative's bookshelf when I happened upon a dog-eared copy of Fire Within, Marist Father Thomas Dubay's guided tour of the pair's writings. Specifically, it was the book's subtitle that caught my eye: St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, and the Gospel -- On Prayer.
Evidently, giving up on the Carmelite superstars hadn't set well with my ego. "Mind if I borrow this?" I asked. "Not at all," my relative answered. Bad move on her part. By the time I finally found it within myself to part company with the book and return it to its rightful owner, she had tired of waiting and bought herself another copy. The "problem," such as it was, was that Fire Within had given me one of the most sublime reading experiences I've ever had.
So it was that Father Dubay coaxed me far deeper inside the prayer lives of Teresa and John than the two ever could have brought me on their own. (In a way, I suppose, not unlike the manner by which the Blessed Mother shows us aspects of her divine Son we would fail to see without her help.)
And so it was that, when I saw that he had just come out with a new book intriguingly subtitled Igniting a Fire Within, I made sure to get my hands on a copy straight away. I know a long-awaited companion volume when I see one.
Wrong.
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By A Customer on April 26, 2003
Format: Paperback
What is prayer? Why do we pray? Is all prayer the same? These are questions that many people do not know, or maybe do not even wonder about, yet it is so important. All Christians pray, or ought to, and this book explains the basics of it. Whether you feel a need to enhance your prayer life, or whether you are just curious about what you never were taught on the subject, this book makes an excellent read. I believe this book would be greatly beneficial for any Christian. It is filled with scriptural references throughout, as well as references to other sources such as the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and others by Dubay. It reads very fast, and one may feel inclined to read more on the subject, but the book gives you all you need to get going in the right direction, which is the most important thing. Very orthodox, by an expert on prayer, this book is a great read for Catholics. It would undoubtedly be of great use to protestants as well.
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Format: Paperback
This book reminds me of buying a whole big tray of baklava and it is all sweet around. You can't say, I would rather choose this over that. It is all sweet. The author has a sweet spirit about him. He is so knowledgeable in the Bible. He is by no means a "Bible thumper", Lord have mercy on them! This author, Thomas Dubay, is saturated in the Bible and you taste the Bible with him in a fresh way and can't help but feel a fire indeed within you, that yearning for the Lord, intimacy with the Almighty that fills our void of heart. There are passages that Dubay quotes and it feels like I am reading them for the first time when they sounded before as mere preaching at my poor soul and I don't like to be preached to or talked at when it comes to spirituality. I enjoyed what he had to say on Isaiah 55: 1-3, Isaiah 26: 9, Psalms 42: 2-3 Psalm 63: 1 and 62: 1. You can quote the Bible all day long but unless it is flowing from you and it manifests the power of the living, it can be mere vain repetition, blah blah blah, yawn! Fr Dubay makes a beautiful statement on these verses of the Word of God and says, "The inspired writer knows thta God must be our consuming concern, for pursuing him, adoring him, loving him, being immersed in him can alone profoundly delight and fill us. Fr Dubay has taught me a verse from the Bible I never read before and it is in Ezekiel 16: 13 and 14: {14 The fame of your beauty spread through the nations, since it was perfect, because I had clothed you with my own splendour -- declares the Lord Yahweh.}

We all want to be beautiful. His will for us us to be "perfect in beauty". That beauty is not from us. Psalm 149:4 For Yahweh loves his people, he will crown (or beautify) the humble with salvation.
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This is a superb book. It is easy to understand but is also deep. The explanations of our need for communicating with God through prayer are logical and inspiring. If you want to improve and deepen your prayer life--Buy it ,you'll like it!
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Format: Paperback
Father Dubay has a gift for writing - it keeps you awake, without the use of any gimmicks. This book is inspiring, authoritative, and gentle. Interesting from beginning to end.
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...the author too often addresses (and overuses the term) those who are "normal." But he never defines what he means by normal. And he does a disservice, I think, to the worthiness of vocal prayer for the 'beginner.' Yes, vocal prayer should, and often does, lead to meditative and contemplative prayer, but it seems as though the author wants to denigrate the first and hurry the beginner to the latter - going so for as to equate vocal prayer with mere "babbling" (yes, it can be, but... NOT always).

I wouldn't really recommend this book to someone entirely new to prayer - the newly evangelized, for instance. I would recommend it to those who are ready to move beyond vocal prayer. For me, there's a lot to be said for some vocal prayer and I think the author is simply too dismissive of it, urging readers too readily to 'mature' to meditation and contemplation (which just comes naturally after some time).
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