Learning to Pray: A Guide for Everyone

HarperOne. Feb. 2021. 400p. ISBN 9780062643230. $27.99. REL
In his latest book, Martin, SJ (Jesus: A Pilgrimage), focuses on the personal aspect of prayer, assuring readers that verbal engagement with God is not impossible. Through personal anecdotes and historical references, Martin offers a guide for the layperson who is serious about prayer. A Jesuit priest, the author is highly experienced in matters of prayer, and effectively supports his arguments with biblical scripture as well as theological research. Although Martin considers prayer to be a two-way conversation between God and the person praying, chapters include examples of rote prayers that one can use. The purpose of these, as well as other suggestions, is to enrich one’s prayer life. They also provide both a point from which to seriously begin a practice of prayer and a common bond for believers around the world. While the primary aim of Martin’s book is the importance of developing a habit of regular personal prayer, Tim Keller’s Prayer emphasizes how to successfully achieve it. Martin’s approachable book can be read as a complement, or on its own.
VERDICT Highly recommended for all Christian believers, those beginning their faith journey, and others seeking spiritual development.
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