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Wonder, Fear, and Longing, Paperback: A Book of Prayers Paperback – August 31, 2009

4.4 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Every heart feels wonder. Every heart knows fear. Every heart aches with longing. Awed, we whisper, 'Thank you.' Frightened, we cry, 'Mercy.' Yearning we plead, 'Show me the way.' Because the truth is, no matter who you are, every heart needs prayer. This is a prayer book. A book to seduce, cajole, entice, and encourage your heart into prayer. More than a book to be read, this is a book to be explored. It is a book of stories, divine poetry, holy verses, mystical inspirations, prayerful imaginings, meditative practices, and spiritual exercises that seek to uncover the hidden communication between you and God. As you read and explore more about love, longing, fear, suffering, compassion, rest, reflection, passion, wonder, and gratitude you'll be invited to discover prayer within the various moods, attitudes, and experiences that we human beings often find ourselves in. It's a book to be used, flipped through, tested, experimented with, and then set aside. It is a book that asks you time after time to stop and listen, turn and welcome the silent love of God. The hope of this book isn't to teach you anything. The point of this book is to encourage you to give yourself to God---your anger, your fear, your gratitude, your curiosity---your real self to the real God, because then (and only then) will your heart find peace (even in the midst of wonder, fear, and longing). Because every heart needs prayer. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Mark Yaconelli is the co-founder and co-director of Triptykos School of Compassion. The author of Downtime, Contemplative Youth Ministry, and Growing Souls, Mark lives in Oregon with his wife and three children.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan/Youth Specialties; 1 edition (August 31, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310283604
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310283607
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 7.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #616,335 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Opa Wayne VINE VOICE on December 11, 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"Wonder, Fear, and Longing - a Book of Prayers" is an extraordinary Christian text. Mark Yaconelli's book is a book of meditations that entice us to prayer. Yaconelli shows sensitivity, wisdom, and spirituality gained from life experience in this new book of prayer

In this text, Yaconelli presents heartfelt reflections enhanced by quotations from many spiritual writers, such as Richard Rohr, Thomas Merton, Catherine of Siena, and Reinhold Niebuhr. His reflections and meditations are filled with quotations from the Scriptures.

Yaconelli organized the book into ten chapters that are each a different "aspect" of our existence. The chapters are Love, Longing, Fear, Suffering, Compassion, Rest, Reflection, Passion, Wonder, and Gratitude. Each chapter presents reflections followed by: scripture, prayer, meditation, and contemplation.

Looking at the list above, one may be tempted to wonder if this is an elementary book. It is not. The chapter titles may appear simple, but the wisdom within each "aspect" is astute and impressive.

Yaconelli's work is wonderful spirituality. He clearly understands the message that Jesus taught. He helps us attempt to live as Jesus lived, in compassion and love for our fellow human beings.

Yaconelli's meditations on suffering are especially beneficial. He advises that our prayer often begins in suffering and if we give our suffering to God we learn surrender which leads to growth in strength, peace and love.

I especially like the following Yaconelli statements.

"It is our real selves (not our "spiritual selves) whom God loves and desires most deeply."

Our first struggle is to "receive and return God's love."

Prayer does not allow us to "control life's outcomes."

"To pray is to be vulnerable."

Often churches seem "averse to human suffering."

I highly recommend this book.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I am so glad I picked up this book. By the end of the introduction, I was choked up and felt like this book had the potential to inspire and guide the reader looking to be led to a deeper level of prayer. This sentiment from page 6 says it all: "The hope of this book isn't to teach you new ideas about prayer, the hope of this book is that you will pray." This book does just that, helping the reader to discover how they want to best approach God in prayer through everything from love to suffering to gratitude and fear. The author sets the tone for the book beautifully right off the bat, asking questions to already get you thinking about your prayers and your ability to express yourself through them to God. He asks the reader to visualize they are in the private company of somebody who has perfect love for you, who is safe and comfortable to be with, who looks at you like no other... Then he asks you to ponder how you'd speak to the person. What would you say? What would you ask? He asks if you'd share hopes and fantasies, pain and suffering, if you'd ask for help, or just enjoy the feelings that being around this person would raise up within you. He presents you with the questions, then the rest of the book presents you with ways to find the answer to those questions in a way that's beautiful and meaningful, not at all preachy or self-serving, yet allows for total personal freedom to truly express oneself.

The book is divided into 10 common emotions or situations that are probably among the most common reasons to pray; love, longing, fear, suffering, compassion, rest, reflection, passion, wonder, and gratitude. The chapters each start with a passage from the Bible related to the subject of the chapter, then reflections from the author on the emotion.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a serious book of prayer, more so than I anticipated. What is good about it is that it is divided into sections by theme, making it very user friendly. The prayers come from diverse sources, which is also nice. I was hoping to use it in my work, however, and I found the prayers, for the most part, a little too inaccessible for the audience I need to reach.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I found this book to be extremely useful in the practice of the presence of God. Chapters are built around large issuesLove, longing, Rest, Passion, etc. After thoughts on the subject, Yaconelli invites the reader to take a contemplative journey. First we read scripture that seems to apply. Then he offers a written prayer to assist the reader in his/her own prayer. Then he invites us to meditate by participating in a guided reflection. Then he offers exercises to help us spend time with God.

I found this to be quite useful and practical without feeling earthbound, I felt it was geared to a younger reader than a fifty-something like me, but it is appropriate for all who are seeking to grow deeper in experiencing God. Highly reccomend
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I was raised in an ultra-conservative religion where prayer meant kneeling down, folding your hands, closing your eyes, bowing your head and addressing God in Old English. While there is nothing inherently wrong with that approach, I must confess that I found it dry and stiff.

This little book's approach to prayer is a complete departure from the thees and thous of my childhood. Offerings scripture verses and quotations to mediate on and some great creative activities, it invites readers to move beyond the formula ritual of prayer and into a personal interaction with God. Although some traditionalists might feel the contemplation exercises are a bit too "new age", I found some of them to be quite spiritually refreshing.
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