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Why People Pray: The Universal Power of Prayer Paperback – June 28, 2016
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This ground-breaking readable volume will compel the reader to unlock the complexity of prayer with a treasure-trove of creative insights and practical wisdom. . . A gem to be treasured.(Rabbi Earl Grollman, author, "Living When a Loved One Has Died")
"Why People Pray provides ample material for a study group and includes many anecdotes that will be of use to those preparing sermons. It could be used with teenagers straight through to senior citizens. This is a rare book, delightful, and wise."(Alice Ogden Bellis, Professor of Hebrew Bible at Howard University School of Divinity)
Mordecai Schreiber has written the most valuable and universal book I have read in a very long time. It speaks to religious people of all faiths and equally to non-believers. It explains in very clear language this most mysterious and personal human behavior: prayer. He de-mystifies the human need to pray by explaining its origins and its effects. The chapter 'Is anyone listening' gives a glimpse of what is beyond human comprehension. The book is an illuminating page-turner. Once I started it, I just had to carry on reading, as it becomes more and more illuminating.(Jose Serebrier, conductor and composer)
"This book is the most informative and compelling book on the power of prayer. A must read for anyone who wants to understand the greatest principle of our time."(Farhana Qazi, author, activist, and speaker)
About the Author
Born and raised in Israel, Schreiber spent six years in Latin America and is equally at home in Hebrew, Spanish, and English. He has served congregations in the U.S. and Central America, and has worked as editor, translator, and publisher, with over 50 books authored under his name and under the pen name Morry Sofer.
Rabbi, author, educator, writer, translator, Biblical scholar, and founder of Schreiber Translations (STI), Schreiber's latest transformation is cruise rabbi. In the past ten years, he has sailed the seven seas as a spiritual leader on board cruise ships.
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As Schreiber argues, to “live is to pray. Every day when we get up in the morning we pray for life and wellbeing for ourselves and for those we care about.” By examining actual prayers and the rituals of prayer over the past several thousand years, Schreiber concludes that the “purpose of prayer is to enable the praying person to communicate with that higher source” and to transition from the material world to a “higher spiritual world where one may find harmony, peace, and mental fortitude.” Ultimately, for Schreiber prayer is a celebration of life, something that the detractors of prayer he cites seem to have missed.
Toward the end of his book, Schreiber makes a provocative suggestion: what the world needs today is a new language of prayer that does not replace our religious classics but which places the sanctity of life as its foremost principle.
Both religious sceptics and readers of all faiths will enjoy Why People Pray. Some may even decide after finishing this book to pray for the first time while others may find that their prayers take on new meaning and purpose.
As a rabbi myself, I have been energized by reading this book to open my eyes, ears, and heart to the language and power fo prayer in a way I could not or did not do during my 45 years as a pulpit rabbi and years as the Spiritual Director of an Assisted Living and Memory Care facility.
Rabbi Jonathan Brown