Richard Foster: Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home (New York: HarperCollins, 1992)
Hello, I’m Daniel Westfall on the channel “Pray With Me”.
Book Review day has come round again! Today we look at Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home by Richard Foster, a Quaker theologian and author of the book Celebration of Discipline.
A friend introduced me to Foster’s book on prayer when I was in my mid-fifties. He knew I was interested in prayer, so he suggested I try each of the 21 types of prayer the book describes.
I ordered the cheapest copy of the book I could find and when it arrived, my teenage son and daughter saw I had received the large print edition. Oops! I assured them it was a mistake, that I really wasn’t that old, and that I really did not need the large print. However, they made so many jokes about my eyesight and age that I considered throwing the book at them, or throwing it away.
Instead, I read it and liked it. Following my friend’s suggestion, I spent 21 weeks praying by the book, using a different type of prayer each week. That was a good experience. It broadened my thinking about what prayer is and what it can be, and it gave me new tools for praying about myself and others.
So what are the 21 kinds of prayer? Here are some chapter titles: Simple Prayer, Prayer of the Forsaken, The Prayer of Rest, Praying the Ordinary, Radical Prayer. At the end of each chapter, the author provides a sample prayer in that genre.
For example, the chapter on Healing Prayer has wonderful examples of people who were healed by prayer and medicine, or by prayer alone. Foster’s end-of-chapter prayer says: “My Lord and my God, I have a thousand arguments against Healing Prayer. You are the one argument for it . . . . You win. Help me to be a conduit through which your healing love can flow to others. For Jesus’ sake.”
Foster talks about spiritual warfare in the chapter Authoritative Prayer and presents a helpful concluding prayer. “In the strong name of Jesus Christ I stand against the world, the flesh, and the devil. I resist every force that would seek to distract me from my center in God. I reject the distorted concepts and ideas that make sin plausible and desirable. I oppose every attempt to keep me from knowing full fellowship with God.”
I like that phrase, “I reject the distorted ideas that make sin plausible and desirable.” That’s what I’ve been trying to pray, but I haven’t had the words for it.
That’s today’s book Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home by Richard Foster. It’s worth owning, but only if you use it. And if your eyes are a bit weak, I might even trade my large-print edition for a copy in regular size print.
Let’s pray, using the benediction which concludes Foster’s book.
May you now, by the power of the Holy Spirit, receive the spirit of prayer. May it become, in the name of Jesus Christ, the most precious occupation of your life. And may the God of all peace strengthen you, bless you, and give you joy.
I’m Daniel on the channel “Pray with Me”.