Thursday, September 14, 2006

Friday Review. . . Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home

The first time I read Richard Foster's book on prayer I checked it out of the library. Big mistake. First of all, this isn't a book to keep for two weeks and be done with. This is a book that must be lived with. I now own two copies.

I don't find myself reaching for a book on prayer when I am excited and full of energy. No, books on prayer are for times when I feel too tired and over-committed to pray. That is what makes this book such a treasure. The opening chapter is called, "Coming Home: An Invitation to Prayer". This book has that comfortable and comforting feel of coming home. Early in that first chapter is this:

For too long we have been in a far country a country of noise and hurry and crowds, a country of climb and push and shove, a country of frustration and fear and intimidation. And he welcomes us home: home to serenity and peace and joy, home to friendship and fellowship and openness, home to intimacy and acceptacne and affirmation.
Then Foster proceeds to write about prayer. The prayer of the forsaken, of tears, of relinquishment, of adoration and contemplation and unceasing.

The book's weak point is probably the chapter on meditative prayer. This chapter tries to do too much and would have been better split into two chapters -- one on traditional lectio divina and the other on what I know as imaginative prayer. Other than that, this book is a beautifully written companion through the development of a lifetime of prayer experience.

I haven't run across this book mentioned in any member blogs, so if you have blogged about it; please let me know. If you've read it and haven't blogged about it, let me know that too. I'd love to hear about other experiences with a book I consider a genuine classic for the ages.


1 comment:

Donna Bowling said...

I just received my second copy of Foster's book. I lent my first out, and it never found its way home. It is indeed a beautiful book, and I look forward to reading it again. I'm finding myself re-reading books I read long before I thought of attending seminary with new eyes. I trust it will be helpful as I prepare to teach a class on prayer for my church.