Thursday 8 June 2017

13 Powerful Ways to Pray - Eamon Tobin

13 Powerful Ways to Pray
Eamon Tobin

Wellspring Publishing
Beacon Publishing for
Dynamic Catholic
ISBN 9781942611882
eISBN 9781942611899

This was my first book by Eamon Tobin but it will not be the last. I have already added two of his others to my to be read list, because this book was so good. The book begins with a statement from Tobin:

“Remembering that I come from a race of people who for hundreds of years have been praying in the Christian way comforts, challenges, and sustains me in my efforts to be a praying person. Reflecting on the fact that my people have been a praying people for so many generations motivates me to keep alive such a wonderful praying tradition and to add to it in some small way.”

And from reading this book, he does so in more than a small way. He gives us in this small volume not only thirteen ways to pray but he begins with 4 foundations to having a prayer life that is effective. It does not matter if you have a solid prayer life, or you are just beginning to get serious about growing it, this book will be an excellent resource for your prayer life. But he is also honest about his own dry seasons in prayers he states:

“Personally I find prayer to be both a consoling and difficult experience. It is consoling and enjoyable when I believe I am making contact with God whether on a feeling or faith level, when I discover new insights into his ways, when I receive answers to my petitions, and when I simply experience his loving presence and mercy. Praying is difficult for me when I am distracted or unfocused, when my prayer is dry, when I think my efforts to pray are going nowhere, and when I think I have lost contact with God.”

The chapters in this book are:

What Is Prayer?

Four Keys to an Effective Prayer Life

Key One: Developing A Positive Image Of God
Key Two: Being Honest With God
Key Three: Connecting Prayer With Daily Life
Key Four: Listening To God In Prayer

Thirteen Forms of Prayer

One: Prayer Of Thanksgiving
Two: Prayer Of Petition
Three: Prayer Of Intercession
Four: Prayer Of Contrition
Five: Prayer Of Forgiveness
Six: Prayer Of Consciousness Examen
Seven: Praying With A Spiritual Journal
Eight: Decisioning Prayer
Nine: Prayer Of Spiritual Reading
Ten: Prayer Of Contemplation
Eleven: Prayer Of Adoration
Twelve: Praying The Rosary
Thirteen: Prayer In Times Of Spiritual Dryness

Appendix: How to Use This Book for Small-Group Discussion

Each chapter in this book has a main teaching section, and then at the end of the chapter it has a section of Questions, and an exercise. The questions can be used for personal reflection or for small group discussion. And those exercises are followed by a prayer exercise. These exercises explore a lot of different aspects of prayer, from writing a letter to God; to a gratitude list, and many more. Since I have read the book I have gone back to it a few times and just picked an exercise at the end of the chapter and used it as a different way to pray.

One of my favorite statements by Fr. Tobin in the book is: “Prayer is to my spirit what food is to my body. It is the bread of my spiritual life.” This book is amazing in and of itself. But Fr. Tobin also provides an amazing bibliography at the end with numerous references that can be jumping off points to go even deeper into different aspects of prayer and living the Christian life.

This book will provide encouragement, no matter where you are at in your prayer life today. It will also help you draw deeper from the well of prayer. This book is practical, easy to apply, and easy to read. The tools outlined take minutes to learn but you can grow them over a lifetime.  And though written by a Catholic and for Catholics any Christian would benefit from reading this wonderful little book.

Books by Eamon Tobin:
13 Powerful Ways to Pray
Help for Making Difficult Decisions
Prayer: A Handbook for Todays Catholic
How to Forgive Yourself and Others: Steps to Reconciliation
The Sacrament of Penance: Its Past & Its Meaning for Today

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