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The Folly of Prayer: Practicing the Presence…

The Folly of Prayer: Practicing the Presence and Absence of God

by Matt Woodley

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I found this book to be quite engaging. While I did question some parts of it the author, Woodley, always seemed to back up his statements with Scripture.

This book contains 13 chapters including introduction and conclusion and I thought that it would take me about 2 weeks to read it, a chapter a day, but there is so much to ponder that my wife kept finding me with the book in my lap staring of into the distance, while inwardly my mind was furiously racing down various other tracks of thought. I also kept pausing to write down notes.

Throughout the book Woodley kept making comments about prayer which at first seem audacious but when I thought about it and then compared it to what the Bible has to say about prayer I was surprised. I knew this all along but had never incorporated it into my prayer life.

I would recommend this book as one to read and discuss with some friends, in a book club or just by yourself.

This book is definitely one which I will have to re-read again, there is so much in it to consider. I wish I could say that reading this book changed my prayer life, but just reading it will not unless I actively try to incorporate some of these ideas into my prayer life.
  McWolf | May 9, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0830837124, Paperback)

Prayer can feel mysteriously difficult, boringly perfunctory and frustratingly out of our control. Often prayer brings us comfort, but sometimes, especially when there arent easy resolutions or prayers go unanswered, it intensifies and focuses our sense of longing, pain and care. And often God uses our times of darkness and desperation to awaken our hearts to the ache within us--and the cries of those suffering around us.

Prayer is all about coming before God to face life head-on, with all its jagged edges of mystery, joy, longing and agony. In fact, says pastor Matt Woodley, prayer is actually a real encounter with the untamable God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and therefore our experience of it should reflect the power, mystery and even risk of entering into relationship with the Lord of the universe.

In this book Woodley strips away all the religious-speak and presuppositions we have about prayer, distilling it to the essence of wholehearted engagement with the living God.
Exploring an earthy, unadorned, jargon-free approach to prayer, Woodley unpacks a host of fresh synonyms for God-encounters, including prayer as desperation, invocation, mystery, astonishment, groaning and even absence. These marginal ways of praying compel us to engage marginal people--the desperate, the groaning, the victimized and the ignored. As we pray God will open our eyes to the pain of the world around us. With stories from his own experience and biblical and historical examples, Woodley gives fresh language to describe a life grounded in prayer that leads to compassion and service.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:19 -0400)

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