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Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home (1992)

av Richard J. Foster

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
2,016115,738 (4.15)8
Best-selling author Richard J. Foster offers a warm, compelling, and sensitive primer on prayer, helping us to understand, experience, and practice it in its many forms-from the simple prayer of beginning again to unceasing prayer. He clarifies the prayer process, answers common misconceptions, and shows the way into prayers of contemplation, healing, blessing, forgiveness, and rest. Coming to prayer is like coming home, Foster says. "Nothing feels more right, more like what we are created to be and to do. Yet at the same time we are confronted with great mysteries. Who hasn't struggled with the puzzle of unanswered prayer? Who hasn't wondered how a finite person can commune with the infinite Creator of the universe? Who hasn't questioned whether prayer isn't merely psychological manipulation after all? We do our best, of course, to answer these knotty questions but when all is said and done, there is a sense in which these mysteries remain unanswered and unanswerable . . . At such times we must learn to become comfortable with the mystery." Foster shows how prayer can move us inward into personal transformation, upward toward intimacy with God, and outward to minister to others. He leads us beyond questions to a deeper understanding and practice of prayer, bringing us closer to God, to ourselves, and to our community.… (mer)

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Very unique, not fluff, very deep. ( )
  kevin.torres | Apr 7, 2019 |
I read Richard Foster's Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home. I didn't much like it. Well there are parts I want to come back to, and I feel guilty criticizing a book on prayer by someone who has far-and-away-better-prayer-life than me, but it really didn't resonate with me. Here is why:

It is divided into three sections which (upward, inward, outward) and Foster relates each section to one of the Trinity. Each section has seven type of prayers which help you achieve one of these dimensions of prayer. It is encyclopedic, and I honestly think I will look back on particular chapters and try the different prayer methods, or suggest particular ways of praying to others I mentor. But despite its usefulness, I found Foster's whole project wrongheaded. I am not sure if what I need is a taxonomy of prayer, as helpful as it is.

I acknowledge that some of my aversion may come from my own experience in regard to prayer. Once upon a time I was at a Charismatic church because I sensed that God wanted me to be open to the Holy Spirit. That church was a great practitioner of healing prayer and taught about it a great deal. I learned some of that there, and was generally open minded. However, one of the pastor's would always suggest that if one 'type of prayer' didn't work, simply try another type of prayer. He would say that each type of prayer 'are tools in our tool box.' At first, I ate up what he was saying because God was obviously doing something through the prayers of the people there, but something about the toolbox comment made me bristle. Finally I figured out what it was.

Treating each type of prayer as a different tool in your prayer tool box, suggested that if you just prayed the right way, God was obligated to answer you the way you wanted him to. Now, nobody said this, and they would nuance this by saying that sometimes God doesn't heal, or answer our prayers. But the use of the tools in the toolbox image was technological and it promoted a sort of formulaic idea of prayer. I found it difficult to jump from the idea of prayer as a tool to prayer as a conversation or communion with God.

Now I know this is a lot of baggage to dump on Foster. But I remain skeptical of lists of ways to pray, in order to achieve this or that objective. I understand that some understanding of the multiple dynamics of true prayer means that you end up talking about it in different ways, but I struggle with this approach. ( )
  Jamichuk | May 22, 2017 |
Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home is better than I expected. Good books inspire you to read other, older books the author draws on. This book will inspire you to read Augustine, Luther, and others. First published in 1992, it's already a "classic." Great book to start 2014 with.

Foster gives examples of many types of prayer as practiced and described by earlier church fathers. But what I appreciated about this book is Foster's embrace of a theology of work. Work is worship, it is a prayer we offer to God. It is incorrect to say "If only I had more time to pray, instead of having to work today." Our work itself is a prayer, and since wherever we are the Holy Spirit goes with us, wherever we are is holy ground. We can worship there, we must worship there. Do you think Jesus didn't worship as a carpenter, or Paul as a tentmaker? Foster once worked among Eskimos in Alaska, and noted how the Eskimo Christians embedded this theology of work in their daily lives. "You're digging this ditch for the glory of God," Foster was told, which changed his life.

Foster is a Quaker and taught me that waiting is worship.Whether waiting in line at the grocery or waiting on lab test results or waiting to see what next year will bring-- that act of waiting and anticipation should be worship.We don't like to wait and we don't like to listen, but that's a form of prayer that God answers.

Foster reminds me of a Sunday school teacher we had in Waco, I'm sure Mike has read and been influenced by this book. He discusses his own transformation in regards to approaching prayers for healing-- from a skeptic to an active practitioner; he tells of Augustine's similar conversion as described in Augustine's City of God. We Baptists often hinder our own prayers by justifying our own doubts and God's inaction with the "if it be Your will..." clause at the end of healing prayers-- Foster has no patience for this.

I also appreciated his outlining of the importance of small-group community and prayer, giving an example of what he tries to live out and others he knows of. He describes community in a way I find ideal. I give this book 4.5 stars. I look forward to reading his Celebration of Discipline. ( )
  justindtapp | Jun 3, 2015 |
I've read it twice - in 1993 and in 2012 -- simply the best book on prayer ever. ( )
  MarthaHuntley | Nov 12, 2012 |
The Daughters of the King chose Foster’s book, Prayer as a text for reading and discussion. Richard Foster, Quaker theologian and best-selling author, provides an excellent and comprehensive survey of 21 forms of Christian prayer. He groups the sections around three movements (inward, upward, and outward) which address three human needs (transformation, intimacy, and ministry). Foster presents the best thinking of various church traditions to help the reader feel drawn to prayer and to a restored and deeper relationship with oneself, God, and others.
  EdwardGleason | Oct 26, 2011 |
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Foster's relaxed and emotionally honest reflections upon his own prayer life make the point that seizing upon the sanctity of the ordinary is essential to a rich inner life. Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home is an essential resource you'll rely upon again and again as you seek to add breadth and depth to your spiritual practice.

 

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God has graciously allowed me to catch a glimpse into his heart, and I want to share with you what I have seen.
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Best-selling author Richard J. Foster offers a warm, compelling, and sensitive primer on prayer, helping us to understand, experience, and practice it in its many forms-from the simple prayer of beginning again to unceasing prayer. He clarifies the prayer process, answers common misconceptions, and shows the way into prayers of contemplation, healing, blessing, forgiveness, and rest. Coming to prayer is like coming home, Foster says. "Nothing feels more right, more like what we are created to be and to do. Yet at the same time we are confronted with great mysteries. Who hasn't struggled with the puzzle of unanswered prayer? Who hasn't wondered how a finite person can commune with the infinite Creator of the universe? Who hasn't questioned whether prayer isn't merely psychological manipulation after all? We do our best, of course, to answer these knotty questions but when all is said and done, there is a sense in which these mysteries remain unanswered and unanswerable . . . At such times we must learn to become comfortable with the mystery." Foster shows how prayer can move us inward into personal transformation, upward toward intimacy with God, and outward to minister to others. He leads us beyond questions to a deeper understanding and practice of prayer, bringing us closer to God, to ourselves, and to our community.

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