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Writing to God: 40 Days of Praying with My Pen (Active Prayer Series) Paperback – March 9, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"Hackenberg's words have a heartbeat---sometimes they are beautiful and otherworldly; other time they are simple and earthy. When I read her prayers, I'm sure I have just prayed. But she wants me to take up my pen and pray. With a prayer, a Scripture passage, and a task, she gives me a personal invitation and permission to enter the incarnational practice of writing my words to God." - Sybil MacBeth, author of Praying in Color: Drawing a New Path to God

"For some, speaking to God comes naturally---for others, speaking to God feels awkward, especially when we can't find the words or begin to stumble in mid-sentence. Hackenberg offers an alternative way. Writing to God is an expression of deep humility---it seems to say, "If I can write to God, so can you." - Donald capps, Professor of Pastoral Theology (Emeritus), Princeton Theological Seminary

"Inspiration can come at any time or place, awakening the artist, writer, and creator in all of us just by picking up a pen and letting the words flow. Living with this book will make each day a holy adventure." - Bruce Epperly, author of Holy Adventure: 41 Days of Audacious Living

Designed for use during any 40-day period, Writing to God relieves you of the self-conciousness of trying to pray "the right way." Ideal for Lent, this innovative new addition to the "Active Prayer Series" includesa a special section of prayers and prompts for Holy Week and Easter, for anyone using the book during Lent to deepen a life with God.

About the Author

Rev. Rachel G. Hackenberg serves as the pastor of Grace United Church of Christ in Lancaster, PA. A graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary, she authors the blog Faith and Water, and has published prayers in Before the Amen: Creative Resources for Worship.

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Product Details

  • Series: Active Prayer Series
  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Paraclete Press (March 9, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1557258791
  • ISBN-13: 978-1557258793
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 0.3 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #180,677 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Rachel Hackenburg's Writing To God: 40 Days of Praying With My Pen (Paraclete Press, 2011) is a gift that lasts for 40 days and beyond. It is designed to be used for any 40-day period, with a special section of "Prayers and Prompts for Holy Week."

Rachel is Pastor of Grace United Church of Christ in Lancaster, PA. I resounded with her blog posts at Faith and Water, and was delighted to be asked to write a review of this book.

Paraclete Press sent me a review copy and I immediately began using the book in my morning prayer practice. I loved it. In the past, I have done Morning Pages (from The Artist's Way), 750Words.com, and Praying in Color. All take me outside of myself in an important way, in that they are either not prayer (the first), or a foreign-to-me way of prayer. This book specifically pairs writing prayer with daily writing activity.

As "a words person," writing my prayers is something I have done all my life, in an attenuated form. That is: If I am praying for you, your name is bound to be written somewhere on my desk, my shopping list, even on my hand. Probably, many places. I explained the practice to a college friend by saying, "by writing you down, I keep you safe." I understand prayer differently, now; there is no guarantee of safety...but writing something, making it The Word, makes it real and embodied for me in a way that other prayer methods have not revealed.

For each of forty days, Rachel pairs a poetical reflection on a daily matter with a scripture, and prompts the reader to write to God to correspond to the passage. I found it a fresh way of seeing scriptures, many of which are so familiar as to be flat.
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Rachel Hackenberg has really hit the mark with this book. If you're tired of reciting the same prayers over and over again without feeling personalization then this book is for you. Rachel does an excellent job giving a sample prayer and then putting a scripture reading to go with it. There is even space for you to write your own prayer on each page. This book has helped me to feel a deeper connection with God as I am able to praise Him with my own words instead of ones that someone else has written. It was very refreshing to find a devotional that I put some work into to get something personal out of. Rachel has defintely changed the way I pray!
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Format: Paperback
If you have ever felt unfocused in your prayer life or like you needed a spiritual retreat at home then a 40 day journey with Writing to God -40 Days of Praying With My Pen might be just the right help to get you inspired anew.

Each day offers a scripture to read, a point of entry via a specific short but effective prayer prompt as well as a sample writing by the author with a one line focus for consideration, such as "God plays a hand in every part of our stories.", "God will refresh your spirit.", and "God will be your quiet strength."

After spending 40 Days (plus) myself on this writing journey I highly recommend this book for your spiritual encouragement, edification and praying life.

I also suggest this as a group endeavor. I had a few others commit to joining me for the duration and believe this would be wonderful for those who would like to have a small group setting. There is a resource available at the publishers website for facilitating these gatherings. Since I did this with a group of bloggers from different states we touched base weekly through the Internet and shared our thoughts in a weekly Blog post setting. I would go through this book again and would love to facilitate a close to home gathering some day!

Rachel writes beautifully with conviction and poetic beauty. Her heartfelt prayers and prose absolutely enhance, not hinder the writing journey for the individual.

As someone who already enjoys writing and journaling prayers, I was not sure I would feel comfortable being led by someone else's perceptions and prompts, daily. I wondered if this would feel forced or contrived. In a word inauthentic. But I found the opposite to be true. It focused my daily prayer time in a new refreshing way.
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I have purchased this book before. I really liked it. It is a wonderful book for Journaling. I have purchased this book this year to use during Lent. It is wonderful to reflect on conversations with God.
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I needed a good jumping off point to start getting back into devotions. Lent was a good time but this book can be used for any 40 days (or 50 days as mine will be!). I would recommend it but make sure you get a journal.
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I love this little book -- I admit the author's my pastor -- because it clears room for creativity to emerge in my own prayer life. This Lenten season I've been surprised pretty much every day by what emerges.
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A close friend (a former Nun) recommended this book to me and I purchased it to use during Lent. I have read the introduction and I am grateful to my friend who urged me to get this book because I want guidance in my prayer life. Writing to God is my prayer partner and I am looking forward to beginning this journey.
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