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Learning to Pray: A Guide for Everyone

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One of America’s most beloved spiritual leaders and the New York Times bestselling author of The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything and Jesus: A Pilgrimage teaches anyone to converse with God in this comprehensive guide to prayer. In The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything, Father James Martin included a chapter on communicating with God. Now, he expands those thoughts in One of America’s most beloved spiritual leaders and the New York Times bestselling author of The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything and Jesus: A Pilgrimage teaches anyone to converse with God in this comprehensive guide to prayer. In The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything, Father James Martin included a chapter on communicating with God. Now, he expands those thoughts in this profound and practical handbook. Learning to Pray explains what prayer is, what to expect from praying, how to do it, and how it can transform us when we make it a regular practice in our lives.  A trusted guide walking beside us as we navigate our unique spiritual paths, Martin lays out the different styles and traditions of prayer throughout Christian history and invites us to experiment and discover which works best to feed our soul and build intimacy with our Creator. Father Martin makes clear there is not one secret formula for praying. But like any relationship, each person can discover the best style for building an intimate relationship with God, regardless of religion or denomination. Prayer, he teaches us, is open and accessible to anyone willing to open their heart.


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One of America’s most beloved spiritual leaders and the New York Times bestselling author of The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything and Jesus: A Pilgrimage teaches anyone to converse with God in this comprehensive guide to prayer. In The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything, Father James Martin included a chapter on communicating with God. Now, he expands those thoughts in One of America’s most beloved spiritual leaders and the New York Times bestselling author of The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything and Jesus: A Pilgrimage teaches anyone to converse with God in this comprehensive guide to prayer. In The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything, Father James Martin included a chapter on communicating with God. Now, he expands those thoughts in this profound and practical handbook. Learning to Pray explains what prayer is, what to expect from praying, how to do it, and how it can transform us when we make it a regular practice in our lives.  A trusted guide walking beside us as we navigate our unique spiritual paths, Martin lays out the different styles and traditions of prayer throughout Christian history and invites us to experiment and discover which works best to feed our soul and build intimacy with our Creator. Father Martin makes clear there is not one secret formula for praying. But like any relationship, each person can discover the best style for building an intimate relationship with God, regardless of religion or denomination. Prayer, he teaches us, is open and accessible to anyone willing to open their heart.

30 review for Learning to Pray: A Guide for Everyone

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ida Maria

    I didn't really believe it was possible, but this book truly manages to be a guide for EVERYONE. Whether you have had experience with prayer before, are just curious, struggling or truly and deep into it already, but are maybe trying to go deeper or better get into conversation with people who approach you on the subject- this book will speak to you in a gentle, sensitive, personal and even amusing way (the diet book comparison? Hilarious) and on a personal as well as intellectual level. In a wa I didn't really believe it was possible, but this book truly manages to be a guide for EVERYONE. Whether you have had experience with prayer before, are just curious, struggling or truly and deep into it already, but are maybe trying to go deeper or better get into conversation with people who approach you on the subject- this book will speak to you in a gentle, sensitive, personal and even amusing way (the diet book comparison? Hilarious) and on a personal as well as intellectual level. In a way it was the perfect mix. I have to confess, I am always a bit sceptical when it comes to books like this, because they often feel like 'self-help' books and as a theologian I kinda cringe away from that on instinct. I am happy to say that this book really is nothing like that. It is a guide, of course, but feels like a friend who you are having a really nice and deep conversation with, the author speaking on such a personal level and sharing his experiences that it felt like a confidential private exchange over a cup of tea, after a bible session, when you get closer to someone you like and have a good connection/vibe with. It felt like that from page one and it was so pleasantly surprising. I too had little religious 'training' and manoeuvred my way through prayer quite clumsily for years and years. Had I had this book sooner, it would have probably helped me even more than it did now. Also because the 'List of Ten Reasons/Excuses' why people don't pray was just on point. James Martin is like your spiritual older brother who doesn't call you out, but shares his life and experiences with you because he cares for you and watches out for you. Never forcing you to learn from his experiences and your own, but offering. I loved that he got how daunting and frightening prayer can be, how much of a challenge it poses for some people and how difficult it is to talk about because it is so intimate. The author made me feel comfortable and accepted and did a great job of welcoming me to engage with my prayer life, wherever I stood. I loved how sincere the author's voice was, how honest and gentle. It reminded me that everyone not only struggles to pray sometimes, but also continues to do so- and that's okay. It helped me feel less 'shame', because already at the very beginning the author put me at ease by confessing that they too (of course) started at the very beginning and their prayer life was basic to begin with. But to begin is better than to never try. The personal voice really did it for me. This was not a lecturing book, and yet it did have it's reflective and intellectual elements in some way. Mostly though this book just shares and encourages and that's exactly what I needed and I am sure a lot of other Christians too. This book did really open up my eyes, heart and soul to the depth that can be experienced in prayer- how we can truly meet ourselves there by meeting God. "Prayer is another dimension of life."- thanks to this book I am hungry again to explore and discover it. I received an e-ARC of this book from HarperCollins/Edelweiss. It goes without saying that this did not influence my personal opinion or the content of this review in any way. [I would tell if you if it's shit, I have done so before. Numerous times.]

  2. 4 out of 5

    Alan Lindsay

    I hesitate to give stars to this book. Some will find it hopelessly simplistic and others will find it richly spiritual. I have no problem with either. It's not useless. But it's also not "a guide for everyone," which is an absurd claim. It's a guide for some people who wish to have guidance in certain kinds of Christian prayer. What a wonderful thing to seek guidance in. It may be of interest to many who don't seek such guidance, but then only as a curiosity not really a guidebook. I'm not a bi I hesitate to give stars to this book. Some will find it hopelessly simplistic and others will find it richly spiritual. I have no problem with either. It's not useless. But it's also not "a guide for everyone," which is an absurd claim. It's a guide for some people who wish to have guidance in certain kinds of Christian prayer. What a wonderful thing to seek guidance in. It may be of interest to many who don't seek such guidance, but then only as a curiosity not really a guidebook. I'm not a bit sorry to be reading it and I hope to profit from it, as the questions it offers its answers to are questions I've long had. Still, the subtitle may serve as a warning about the perspective of the book. It will not address your doubts or challenge your assumptions unless those doubts and assumptions are of a specific already-Christian kind. It's a guide for everyone who is already a Christian and wants guidance about how to improve their prayer life and a book that may be useful or interesting to some others. ---------------- Another day. I will give stars, though I have the same reservation I had before. The book may be useful to you. I do not begrudge you that. For myself, I left this vision of Christianity behind many years ago. Maybe you believe that God has specific things he wants you to do, that you should always be seeking his will the way a servant seeks the will of king, the way an employee asks the boss what he's to do next. I have no authority to tell you God doesn't work that way. But I don't think so. The problem I always had with that way of thinking, this minute-by-minute attempt to discern God's will, is that it doesn't in fact require the existence of God to work. One is always interpreting "signs." And interpretation being what it is, one can always say "this is God and that is not" according to the system of interpretation. God becomes an interpretive system, nothing more. The metaphor that supports this is "personal relationship." It's a disarming metaphor, not false necessarily, not thoroughly false, not false for what it says but for what it doesn't say. My "relationship" to God has so little in common with anything else I call a relationship, that to call it even that, let along personal, is too thoroughly anthropomorphic. God can't be my buddy. If he were, he'd talk to me with the clarity of words if he were saying anything that words could make clear. I believe that God's will is a general will if it exists at all. It is this: love yourself. Love your neighbors as yourself. Love God? Yes, by the expression of love for all of God that is around you: what God brought into being. Then what about prayer? Pray all you want. Pray anything you want. I will give any more specific advice to anyone about what to pray or when to pray or how to pray. (That is by no means a criticism of Fr. Martin or anyone who does give you instruction on prayer or of you for listening to it.) But I will not expect God to find my car keys. I won't even ask him to. And if I ask him to bless those I love, I know I'm really telling God I'm afraid of losing those I love. I don't expect him to heal my disease. I wouldn't ask him not to, but as I can't understand the logic of healing my cold or my Covid only to let me fall apart and die, as we all know he will, I don't know how to ask for it. I don't think God is in that business. I think we know God better when we understand that he's not in that business. We can experience the divine in this life, I believe, in many ways. Contemplation is one. Quiet reflection, peaceful observation are among the ways. Helping those in need, all acts of charity are other ways. Even if God doesn't heal your cancer, if I as a doctor can heal your cancer, I have loved you. I can experience God in that. If I as a citizen can help you to food or lift you out of poverty, I can experience God in that. It's because God doesn't that I must. God will let each of you die. You will live your life in deep uncertainly about when or how or in a false sense of assurance that it can't be now because God loves you. The God who allowed his own son to be crucified does love you, as he loved him. But he let him be crucified. And he will let you die as has let everyone who has come before us die, often horrendously, often tragically, always too soon, often much too soon. The divine surrounds us like a mist. We are enveloped in it. We can always pay attention to it, always breathe it in, always find God in it. But I do not believe it pushes us. It invites us. It leaves us free to love as we see best. That said, I find even from my point of view some value in this book. Not all prayer is petitionary prayer. Not all prayer is about fostering a "personal relationship." A lot of prayer is about experiencing the divine. Fr. Martin knows that. And a good deal of what he says fosters it. Reading the book was a good use of my time. I won't read it again very likely. It took my back over 30 years to the time when I would have read this book enthusiastically and nodded at every page. It made me glad that time is gone.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kristjan

    I grew up within the Protestant tradition where [I thought that] I had a strong personal prayer life; I was hoping for a little help with the public, extemporaneous prayer expected from a community leader, and where I seem to struggle a bit (I usually crib them on a piece of paper in advance) ... this book doesn't do that. So after my initial disappointment, I settled in for what I believed would be a quick review. As expected, the author starts off with why we should pray and defining what pray I grew up within the Protestant tradition where [I thought that] I had a strong personal prayer life; I was hoping for a little help with the public, extemporaneous prayer expected from a community leader, and where I seem to struggle a bit (I usually crib them on a piece of paper in advance) ... this book doesn't do that. So after my initial disappointment, I settled in for what I believed would be a quick review. As expected, the author starts off with why we should pray and defining what prayer is ... including nine (9) types of prayer many people do without actually realizing they are doing it. There is a good mix of personal story and cited sources here that continues through the rest of the book and makes it all exceptionally relatable. After a brief treatment of rote or formal prayers in chapter 8, the book moves into more of the Ignatian traditions that I actually don't have much experience with (but seem to be gaining significant attention from those working toward a deeper and richer prayer life). Fr. Martin hits the Daily Examen first ... with a quick segue into what happens when you pray and how to discern God's voice ... I must have highlighted half of each chapter here in my kindle as a quick reference. This is not something that I have thought much about, nor was it really discussed much in any detail growing up. After the Examen, we get Ignatian Contemplation, which leans heavily on imagination ... which can be difficult for those of us who tend toward more analytical/concrete thinking. Fr Martin breaks it all down into easy steps and deals with each individually before bringing all together to great effect. After that, we get a chapter on Lectio Divina ... which seems to be all the rage today (at least in my diocese). Again I found a good definition of what it is, what steps are involved and how to do them. Straight up and simple, which is probably why this chapter was relatively short. I was surprised to find Centering Payer next, since it can be controversial with some Catholics (precisely because of the perception of non-christian influence from the East). Fr. Martin deals with this quite well by reminding us to be sure that we keep the presence of God front of 'center' when we use this technique). Nature prayer (or the "Gaze of Jesus" is next and it calls to mind my own encounters with God's creation and how I felt at the time; reminding me that it is important to continue to seek out these encounters. Chapter 16 talks about some of the tools we can use in our prayer life: spiritual direction (new for me), retreats (with a list of several types), faith sharing (which I like to think of as my strong suit) and journaling (which is my weakest). So ... after all of that ... why are some folks not satisfied with their payer life? Chapter 17 on expectations and the "ups and and downs of the spiritual life" may help. This is something that I don't often see ... an acknowledgement that sometimes you just don't feel like anything worked and that makes it more likely that you may get discouraged. Fr Martin has some practical advice on how to tweak a few things ... but the best advice is to simple remember is that God is in charge here ... and sometimes unanswered prayers are for the best. Overall I find the book to be an excellent reference to which I will constantly return to as I work on improving my own life of prayer. I was given this free advance reader copy (ARC) ebook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. #LearningtoPray #NetGalley

  4. 5 out of 5

    Joy Matteson

    I think I was expecting a teeny little book of good little referential tips on different ways to pray for beginners. This book...is not that. It IS that, but Martin throws everything and the kitchen sink inside a book on prayer that one could possibly want. I've always loved the way Father Martin writes. Martin writes like his fellow late priest Henri Nouwen did: unpretentious, simple, and profound. I loved every single page--and those pages are considerable. Growing up in a Protestant tradition, I think I was expecting a teeny little book of good little referential tips on different ways to pray for beginners. This book...is not that. It IS that, but Martin throws everything and the kitchen sink inside a book on prayer that one could possibly want. I've always loved the way Father Martin writes. Martin writes like his fellow late priest Henri Nouwen did: unpretentious, simple, and profound. I loved every single page--and those pages are considerable. Growing up in a Protestant tradition, I was mostly aware of just one tradition--personal prayer--and Martin blows that narrow little door wide open with joy. This is a book you could recommend to an atheist skeptic as well as an experienced "prayer warrior" as some like to call those who've been praying most of their lives. My favorite section was Martin's personal reflections on when he saw God in his life as a small boy--how we can look for God in the most unexpected nooks and crannies of our lives, and the only way one can know it's God or it's the pizza you ate (sometimes, it just really was) is by faith. This is a great gift book for those of many faith traditions, and was a comfort to me to read. Thank you Netgalley for the chance to pick this one up.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Miley Cyrus

    When I found Dr. OSOFO I was in desperate need of bringing my ex lover back. He left me for another man. It happened so fast and I had no say in the situation at all. He just dumped me after 3 years with no explanation. I contact Dr.OSOFO through his website and He told me me what i need to do before he can help me and i did what he told me to, after i provided what he wanted, he cast a love spell to help us get back together. Shortlay after he did his spell, my boyfriend started texting me agai When I found Dr. OSOFO I was in desperate need of bringing my ex lover back. He left me for another man. It happened so fast and I had no say in the situation at all. He just dumped me after 3 years with no explanation. I contact Dr.OSOFO through his website and He told me me what i need to do before he can help me and i did what he told me to, after i provided what he wanted, he cast a love spell to help us get back together. Shortlay after he did his spell, my boyfriend started texting me again and felt horrible for what he just put me through. He said that I was the most important person in his life and he knows that now. We moved in together and he was more open to me than before and then he started spending more time with me than before. Ever since Dr. OSOFO helped me, my partner is very stable, faithful and closer to me than before. I highly recommends Dr. OSOFO to anyone in need of help. Email: [email protected] Call him or add him on whatsapp via: +2349065749952  

  6. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    This book is a very practical manual for prayer. It discusses what prayer is, why we pray, and what one can expect when praying. Then it walks the reader through many different forms of prayer, discusses common issues and stumbling blocks in the ups and downs of spiritual life. It ends with the assertion that prayer, for whatever else it offers, is always intended to lead to action. Father Martin has become a pretty big celebrity in recent years, often featured in the media. I didn't know what t This book is a very practical manual for prayer. It discusses what prayer is, why we pray, and what one can expect when praying. Then it walks the reader through many different forms of prayer, discusses common issues and stumbling blocks in the ups and downs of spiritual life. It ends with the assertion that prayer, for whatever else it offers, is always intended to lead to action. Father Martin has become a pretty big celebrity in recent years, often featured in the media. I didn't know what to expect from him as an author on this topic. What I found was a gentle, surprisingly humble spirit seemingly intent on nothing other than helping others learn to pray and get more out of their prayer life. He shared many personal experiences and insights and enough humor to keep it human. I'm glad I bought a copy of this book, because I anticipate that it is one I will want to refer back to many times in the future as I try out different prayer forms he discussed or encounter issues he mentioned.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Renee Lareau

    I have read many books on prayer and spirituality & I will read pretty much anything Fr. Jim Martin writes. This book is written from a Catholic viewpoint but attempts to be inclusive of different faith traditions and spiritual seekers who do not identify with a specific faith tradition. Lots of fresh in-depth looks at old prayer traditions here--I particularly enjoyed the section on rote prayers, which I haven’t considered in a thoughtful way for a while. The book offers an overview of lots of I have read many books on prayer and spirituality & I will read pretty much anything Fr. Jim Martin writes. This book is written from a Catholic viewpoint but attempts to be inclusive of different faith traditions and spiritual seekers who do not identify with a specific faith tradition. Lots of fresh in-depth looks at old prayer traditions here--I particularly enjoyed the section on rote prayers, which I haven’t considered in a thoughtful way for a while. The book offers an overview of lots of different types of prayer which is great, but it focuses also on what happens when you pray—emotions, distractions, insights, memories, desires, images, words, feelings, etc. I listened to the audiobook as I enjoyed hearing Jim’s voice (though I do know him so perhaps that is why). This book would be a good read for Holy Week and/or the Easter season or if you're looking to try a new form of prayer and need ideas.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Betsy

    This book is so helpful in giving direction for your personal prayer experience. Martin gives many different way to pray, goes through each one and explains how to use them. He explains what we can experience through prayer, outcomes of prayer, and even why we may experience dryness in our prayer. I too a lot away from this book and I plan to return again and again to find new ways to pray which will only help my relationship with God. If you have never prayed before, this book is a great resourc This book is so helpful in giving direction for your personal prayer experience. Martin gives many different way to pray, goes through each one and explains how to use them. He explains what we can experience through prayer, outcomes of prayer, and even why we may experience dryness in our prayer. I too a lot away from this book and I plan to return again and again to find new ways to pray which will only help my relationship with God. If you have never prayed before, this book is a great resource. If you're looking to enhance your prayer life with new forms of prayer, check this book out. If you like a bit of Jesuit humor, read Martin!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Carol Laforteza

    I’ve been fortunate enough to work in a Jesuit institution so I’ve been exposed to the opportunities of prayer that Fr Jim speaks of in book. Despite this though, reading the book is affirming, not because I pray the way he describes but the promise of consolation, grace and hope is constantly assured. I’m not the best pray-er and I still struggle but this book doesn’t teach me how to be the best. Prayer is so much of a process than a product. Read this book, even if you feel you can’t pray or yo I’ve been fortunate enough to work in a Jesuit institution so I’ve been exposed to the opportunities of prayer that Fr Jim speaks of in book. Despite this though, reading the book is affirming, not because I pray the way he describes but the promise of consolation, grace and hope is constantly assured. I’m not the best pray-er and I still struggle but this book doesn’t teach me how to be the best. Prayer is so much of a process than a product. Read this book, even if you feel you can’t pray or you won’t. Read it.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Scott Beddingfield

    Slow at the start for me (dare I say ‘dry’ like some sessions in prayer?), Father Martin’s piece builds. Finally chapters ‘What Happens When You Pray?’, ‘Praying With Sacred Texts’ and ‘Finding God at the Center’ became very powerful and helpful for me. These chapters with their now many dog-eared pages in my book ignited and deepened my current prayer life, adding much to my existing regular daily prayer routine. I commend this to anyone regardless of their spiritual experience or faith maturit Slow at the start for me (dare I say ‘dry’ like some sessions in prayer?), Father Martin’s piece builds. Finally chapters ‘What Happens When You Pray?’, ‘Praying With Sacred Texts’ and ‘Finding God at the Center’ became very powerful and helpful for me. These chapters with their now many dog-eared pages in my book ignited and deepened my current prayer life, adding much to my existing regular daily prayer routine. I commend this to anyone regardless of their spiritual experience or faith maturity.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

    This is an exceptional book on prayer. No way to pray is wrong, and they all lead you to a closer relationship to God. Fr. Martin introduces the reader to many various ways to pray, each with it's own character. You can choose what works for you. Whatever your stage in life, you can spend a little time getting to know God a little better. Although Fr. Martin is a catholic priest, he writes in a way that all can relate to with practical help for everyone. I highly recommend this book for everyone This is an exceptional book on prayer. No way to pray is wrong, and they all lead you to a closer relationship to God. Fr. Martin introduces the reader to many various ways to pray, each with it's own character. You can choose what works for you. Whatever your stage in life, you can spend a little time getting to know God a little better. Although Fr. Martin is a catholic priest, he writes in a way that all can relate to with practical help for everyone. I highly recommend this book for everyone that desires a closer relationship with God.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Donna Schwartz

    This is a wonderful book! It talks about a variety of ways to pray, some of which I learned as a Catholic school teacher, and some that were new to me. A few of the types of prayer were things that I was doing and did not even realize were a kind of prayer. I found reading the book was like a meditation itself. It had an amazing calming effect on me during a difficult time. In addition, he mentions books for future reading (I have a list started) which were very attractive . My highest rating for t This is a wonderful book! It talks about a variety of ways to pray, some of which I learned as a Catholic school teacher, and some that were new to me. A few of the types of prayer were things that I was doing and did not even realize were a kind of prayer. I found reading the book was like a meditation itself. It had an amazing calming effect on me during a difficult time. In addition, he mentions books for future reading (I have a list started) which were very attractive . My highest rating for this book? I probably will buy it the next time I want to read it! It's a keeper!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Minette

    I learned so much about prayer from this beautiful, accessible book. I couldn’t help but think of my favorite Bible verse, Romans 8:28. “We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose.” I don’t know what that verse has to do with this book, but it kept coming to mind. God loves all of us and we can pray in all sorts of ways. It’s a relief to know there’s no wrong way to pray. This is a book to cherish.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Eileen O'Finlan

    James Martin, SJ is one of my favorite spiritual authors. I've never read a book by Martin that I didn't love. Learning to Pray: A Guide for Everyone is no exception. It's filled with thoughts and reflections on prayer, all of it reassuring, and descriptions and examples of a wide variety of the forms of prayer. No matter where a reader is on their spiritual and prayer journey, this book is a wonderful guide. James Martin, SJ is one of my favorite spiritual authors. I've never read a book by Martin that I didn't love. Learning to Pray: A Guide for Everyone is no exception. It's filled with thoughts and reflections on prayer, all of it reassuring, and descriptions and examples of a wide variety of the forms of prayer. No matter where a reader is on their spiritual and prayer journey, this book is a wonderful guide.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Connie

    As usual, Father Martin delivers. This is a comprehensive yet easily read and understood volume on prayer. Novices could benefit, but so could people with much experience in and learning about prayer. There was little new for me in this book, but it's so winsomely written and so very available to the reader that I found it was like a mini-retreat to read 50 pages of it each morning. Highly recommended. As usual, Father Martin delivers. This is a comprehensive yet easily read and understood volume on prayer. Novices could benefit, but so could people with much experience in and learning about prayer. There was little new for me in this book, but it's so winsomely written and so very available to the reader that I found it was like a mini-retreat to read 50 pages of it each morning. Highly recommended.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    Haven't finished yet but the book itself is really beautiful- The cover and paper are of great quality. And as usual, Fr. Martin is a pleasure to read. Like sitting down with a close friend and sharing experiences in our lives. There is much to be learned for people whether they have a prayer history or if they are new to the benefits of a prayer life. Haven't finished yet but the book itself is really beautiful- The cover and paper are of great quality. And as usual, Fr. Martin is a pleasure to read. Like sitting down with a close friend and sharing experiences in our lives. There is much to be learned for people whether they have a prayer history or if they are new to the benefits of a prayer life.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mary Sullivan

    Fr. Martin's book is written in such a manner that I could understand exactly what he is trying to say. He accomplishes this by using many personal examples and stories by way of explanation of a point he is making. This keeps the reading and learning light and fast paced while sharing the depth needed to make you feel closer and closer to God in prayer. Fr. Martin's book is written in such a manner that I could understand exactly what he is trying to say. He accomplishes this by using many personal examples and stories by way of explanation of a point he is making. This keeps the reading and learning light and fast paced while sharing the depth needed to make you feel closer and closer to God in prayer.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Elena C. Hines

    I found this book to be extremely readable and helpful, whether you were just starting to pray, wanted to learn to pray or had been praying for years. Fr. Martin writes in an easy, accessible, and often humorous way. He is not afraid to share his own experiences and these very human experiences are so relatable. I highly recommend it.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Todd

    I found this book to be wonderfully enlightening. Though Father Martin is a Catholic priest, this book is really for anyone who is hoping to improve their prayer life. Not being Catholic myself, I still found it valuable in my own efforts. I particularly enjoyed learning more about the different ways to pray. I would highly recommend this book!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tom Wiley

    Fr. James Martin writes a very practical and insightful book on prayer. It would be an excellent book both for someone who has never prayed before or someone who has but needs a little tune up in their prayer life. He does a great job at explaining what happens in prayer and what the experience of it is like. This was a great read for Lent!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Dr Honora

    A positive and idea-filled book for one to learn how to pray and understand prayer. A great book club book. See internet for author's weekly book club talks and discussion sessions. I participated in these sessions live. I would read the assigned chapters, Fr. Martin would lecture then lead an open discussion. A great tutorial option to read this book. A positive and idea-filled book for one to learn how to pray and understand prayer. A great book club book. See internet for author's weekly book club talks and discussion sessions. I participated in these sessions live. I would read the assigned chapters, Fr. Martin would lecture then lead an open discussion. A great tutorial option to read this book.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jill M Caldwell

    Excellent and down-to-earth advice on how to pray, what happens when you pray and why we pray. Fr. Martin is always clear and concise while presenting sound spiritual guidance for his readers. Everyone can benefit from this book, religious or not, believer or not.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    I absolutely LOVE Father Martin, and I will absolutely read anything he writes! I wish we were friends, haha. This is a wonderful book for anyone, of any faith persuasion, who might feel like they would like to have more meaning in prayer.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    This book was so good for my personal journey. Fr. Martin takes the time to explain things clearly, and he gives so many descriptions and options for prayer that I feel pulled to try many new styles, and to journal about it. A very worthwhile read!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Erika

    This book will forever be connected to my experience of the Covid19 crisis and listening to Father Jim each evening during the confinement. Beautifully presented and very accessible; a good book for everyone.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ann Rempel

    Inspirational Reading This book presents various methods of prayer, and once you start to read its hard to put down. The author provides much insight on various methods of praying — methods useful to people of all religions. It is the kind of book I read again and again.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sinead

    A truly magnificent book; I also listened to Fr Martin on the audiobook version and he has a very comforting and profound voice. I would recommend this book to all people regardless of their age or religious beliefs.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jamey Yadon

    He has some helpful things to say, but he also has a LOT of unhelpful things to say. This book is two to three times as long as it needed to be.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Celia

    Comprehensive book about different methods of prayer. Easy to understand, thorough and ensightful.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Emmett

    Goodreads deleted my review of this book!

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