Where did you learn to pray?
At your mother's knee? From the nun or brother who taught your religion class? Has your understanding of prayer matured since then, or do you simply pray, year after year, as you were taught as a child?
No wonder most people have so many erroneous notions about prayer. No wonder our prayers are still far from what they should be!
This remarkable book offers practical ways you can improve your prayers today and grow closer to God. The topics include:
Simple, direct, and profound, The Art of Praying is a helpful guide for the average person in the pew…and even for those rare few who are far advanced in prayer.
"An inspiring prayer guide for us all! Highly recommended."
"Long ago, Guardini helped teach me to pray. I rely on his thought."
Rev. Benedict Groeschel
"This book by a true man of prayer has helped me pray better."
Rev. George Rutler
This is simply one of the most practical sources for advice on prayer that I have ever found and I will go back to it often. Leaving no stone unturned, Guardini discusses everything from adoration and thanksgiving to intercession and the communion of saints.
By using the look inside function to read some sample passages you can see that it is divided into little sections that you can prayerfully read in a few minutes and then chew on all day. I appreciated his emphasis upon "praying the Trinity", as it centers our prayer in Christ by the Spirit to the Father, since it really is the Spirit who prays in and for us to the Father and our whole life is "in Christ". I also found Guardini's lack of romanticism very refreshing. No platitudes about mystical union and the like, but the simple and practical advice that I would expect form my priest: Prayer is real work, you likely won't want to do it often, its purpose is not to produce an emotional state within you. Very honest.
Perhaps this is one of the best books on prayer ever written. Romano Guardini discusses various kinds of prayer--praise, intercession, adoration, requests--and speaks about why each one is necessary. He describes the attitude of heart one should have when approaching God. I found especially illuminating his discussion of the fact that God has created us with dignity; thus, we should approach Him with honor and dignity. Included also are expositions on contemplative prayer, prayer to the saints, and difficulties with prayer. The best part of the book is its grounding in reality and in orthodox theology. This is no promotion of a vague kind of spirituality designed simply to make a person feel good. Prayer as Guardini speaks of it is to be always centered on Christ and his work of salvation for us. This is a compassionate book. Guardini warns that prayer is almost always difficult, that we have an innate tendency to resist it, and that we should simply persevere.
Basic Book of Catholic Prayer
How to Pray Always
How to Pray Well
Prayer and the Will of God
Set: Art of Praying & The Spiritual Life
When God Is Silent