“A smart, wise, often side-splittingly funny master class in seeking God. Any spiritual seeker—from atheist to professional religious—will cherish this bravura tome from one of our great spiritual guides, in the lineage of C. S. Lewis, Henri Nouwen, Thomas Merton, Gandhi, and Mother Teresa. Hallelujah & amen!”—Mary Karr, author of Lit and The Liar’s Club
One of America’s most beloved spiritual leaders and the New York Times bestselling author of The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything and Jesus: A Pilgrimage teaches anyone to converse with God in this comprehensive guide to prayer.
In The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything, Father James Martin included a chapter on communicating with God. Now, he expands those thoughts in this profound and practical handbook. Learning to Pray explains what prayer is, what to expect from praying, how to do it, and how it can transform us when we make it a regular practice in our lives.
A trusted guide walking beside us as we navigate our unique spiritual paths, Martin lays out the different styles and traditions of prayer throughout Christian history and invites us to experiment and discover which works best to feed our soul and build intimacy with our Creator. Father Martin makes clear there is not one secret formula for praying. But like any relationship, each person can discover the best style for building an intimate relationship with God, regardless of religion or denomination. Prayer, he teaches us, is open and accessible to anyone willing to open their heart.
About the Author
Rev. James Martin, SJ, is a Jesuit priest, editor at large of America magazine, consultor to the Vatican's Dicastery for Communication, and author of numerous books, including the New York Times bestsellers Jesus: A Pilgrimage, The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything and My Life with the Saints, which Publishers Weekly named one of the best books of 2006. Father Martin is a frequent commentator in the national and international media, having appeared on all the major networks, and in such diverse outlets as The Colbert Report, NPR's Fresh Air, the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Before entering the Jesuits in 1988 he graduated from the Wharton School of Business.
"A smart, wise, often side-splittingly funny master class in seeking God. Any spiritual seeker—from atheist to professional religious—will cherish this bravura tome from one of our great spiritual guides, in the lineage of C. S. Lewis, Henri Nouwen, Thomas Merton, Gandhi, and Mother Teresa. Hallelujah & amen!" — Mary Karr, author of Lit and Liar's Club
"The life of prayer is essential for the believer. And yet so many people feel frightened by prayer. Fear not! James Martin has written a brilliant introduction to prayer, which will help you encounter the Living God, who wants to encounter you!" — Richard Rohr, author of Everything Belongs
"A trusted teacher, Martin teaches that there is no wrong way to pray, even as he lays out many wonderful ways to pray. This book is for anyone who has avoided prayer for any reason--a strong invitation, a gentle encouragement, a wise masterful guide, and a needed book." — Ronald Rolheiser, author of The Holy Longing
“This practical and delightful book is truly for everyone. It’s reassuring to hear that our moments of pausing, listening, and being grateful are all versions of prayer. This book shows us how to stay with such moments and allow them to change us for the better.” — Kathleen Norris, author of The Cloister Walk
"Learning to Pray validates your practice and invites you to deepen it. It beckons us to this new and spacious place where we can all rest in the stillness of love and love in the stillness of God. You could not ask for more in a book on prayer." — Gregory J. Boyle, SJ, author of Tattoos on the Heart
“The genius of this book—evident in both its content and its style—is that it speaks, simultaneously, to beginners in prayer and to those experienced in the way of the Spirit. Fr. Martin is a winsome guide to all those who want to deepen their friendship with the Lord.” — Bishop Robert Barron, author of Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of the Faith
"Who else but Father Martin can combine the illuminating insights from spiritual giants like St. John Damascene with the likes of Monty Python? A humble, humorous step-by-step guide on the lofty subject of talking to and listening for the Living God. " — Helen Prejean, CSJ, author of Dead Man Walking.
“What do we need to learn? That prayer changes us--and so changes the world we live in; that God is always there before us; that it's God's action that makes the difference. Practical, comprehensive, and above all God-centered, this book is a deeply valuable companion for growing in faith.” — Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury
“Drawing on many resources and his own experience, Father Martin invites and engages readers so that they can recognize possibilities for prayer in their lives. Everyone will find reliable spiritual riches in this wise, personal, and practical book, as they journey to God.” — Cardinal Blase Cupich, archbishop of Chicago
"Witty, conversational, intimate, and inspiring, James Martin’s handbook is the finest, most practical, and comprehensive look at prayer that I have ever read." — Ron Hansen, author of Mariette in Ecstasy and Atticus