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Prayer: Letters to Malcolm Paperback – 1 Aug 1984

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Product details

  • Paperback: 124 pages
  • Publisher: Fount; New edition edition (1 Aug. 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006237398
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006237396
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 10.6 x 1.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 91,583 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

CLIVE STAPLES LEWIS (1898-1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day. He was a fellow and tutor in English Literature at Oxford University until 1954 when he was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance English at Cambridge University, a position he held until his retirement. He wrote more than thirty books, allowing him to reach a vast audience, and his works continue to attract thousands of new readers every year. His most distinguished and popular accomplishments include Mere Christianity, Out of the Silent Planet, The Great Divorce, The Screwtape Letters, and the universally acknowledged classics, the Chronicles of Narnia. To date, the Narnia books have sold over 100 million copies and been transformed into three major motion pictures.

Product Description

From the Back Cover

C.S. Lewis's last book is a sane, brilliantly imaginative approach to the problems of prayer. Published posthumously, it still stayed on the best-seller lists for many weeks.

“I think it likely that it will become Lewis's most enduring memorial.”

“It is splendid, glorious stuff, the product of a luminous and original mind, though and honest…yet endowed with an extraordinary sensitivity and tenderness for the fears or foibles of men.”

“This last book may well be more valued than many of the others, and come to be regarded with 'The Screwtape Letters' as the representative work of a very attractive man.”

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Born in Ireland in 1898, C.S. Lewis gained a triple First at Oxford and was Fellow and Tutor at Magdalen College from 1925-1954. In 1954 he became Professor of Mediaeval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge. C.S. Lewis was for many years an atheist, and described his conversion in his autobiography Surprised by Joy thus: “In the Trinity Term of 1929, I gave in and admitted that God was God … perhaps the most dejected and reluctant convert in al England.” One of the most gifted and influential Christian writers of the twentieth century, he is also celebrated for his award-winning Narnia stories, his literary criticism and science fiction. C.S. Lewis died on 22nd November 1963.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Julian Gardiner on 9 May 2004
Format: Paperback
In this slim book, written shortly before his death, C. S. Lewis explores the subject of prayer. Lewis presents the material as a series of letters to an imaginary correspondent called “Malcolm”. This device is effective in creating a sense of intimacy; one has the feeling that Lewis is being touchingly frank in his discussion of the difficulties and rewards of the Christian life in general, and prayer in particular. He has interesting and useful things to say about all aspects of prayer: the petitionary prayer, prayers of praise, corporate prayer, and whether it is right to pray for the dead. Lewis’s theology has not changed significantly since his much earlier books Mere Christianity and The Screwtape Letters, yet there is something mellower and less confrontational in this writing than in Lewis’s more famous Christian books, and it is all the more moving and persuasive for it. The fact that this book was written so near to Lewis’s premature death gives it an added poignancy. In conclusion, this is a first rate book which deserves to be more widely known.
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By ken on 9 Jun. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Lewis at his very best, he challenges all on the difficult topic of personal prayer, he is rarely dogmatic and leaves the reader to make their own reasoned conclusions. No lewis collection is complete without this book.
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By Derek Watmough on 11 Jun. 2013
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4 reviews
By Steven H Propp - Published on
Format: Paperback
Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963) was a novelist, academic, medievalist, lay theologian, and Christian apologist who held academic positions at both Oxford University and Cambridge University. He wrote many other books, such as Mere Christianity, Miracles, Problem of Pain, The Screwtape Letters, A Grief Observed, The World's Last Night, The Abolition of Man, The Great Divorce, God in the Dock, Christian Reflections, etc.

"Malcolm" was a fictional creation of Lewis; "Malcolm" is a convert, who needs instruction on prayer (although Lewis certainly disclaims any "expertise" in the subject). This book was first published (posthumously) in 1964.

Lewis writes, "Every war, every famine or plague, almost every death-bed, is the monument to a petition that was not granted. At this very moment thousands of people in this one island are facing... the very thing against which they have prayed night and day, pouring out their whole soul in prayer, and, as they thought, with faith. They have sought and not found. They have knocked and it has not been opened. 'That which they greatly feared has come upon them.'" [Job 3:25]

He states, "Enlightened people want to get rid of this magical element in favour of what they would call the 'spiritual' element. But the spiritual, conceived as something thus antithetical to 'magical,' seems to become merely the psychological or ethical. And neither that by itself, nor the magical by itself, is a religion. I am not going to lay down rules as to the share---quantitatively considered---which the magical should have in anyone's religious life. Individual differences may be permissible. What I insist on is that it can never be reduced to zero. If it is, what remains is only morality, or culture, or philosophy." (Pg. 106)

He admits, "Of course I pray for the dead. The action is so spontaneous, so all but inevitable, that only the most compulsive theological case against it would deter men... At our age the majority of those we love best are dead. What sort of intercourse with God would I have if what I love best were unmentionable to Him? On the traditional Protestant view, all the dead are damned or saved... God has already done all for them... But don't we believe that God has already done and is already doing all that He can for the living? What more should we ask? Yet we are told to ask." (Pg. 109)

He also acknowledges, "let's now at any rate come clean. Prayer IS irksome. An excuse to omit it is never unwelcome. When it is over, this casts a feeling of relief and holiday over the rest of the day. We are reluctant to begin. We are delighted to finish. While we are at prayer, but not while we are reading a novel or solving a cross-word puzzle, any trifle is enough to distract us." (Pg. 113-114)

This book, while not one of Lewis's more "popular" ones, nevertheless contains some intriguiging thoughts, and is well worth careful reading for any Christians studying prayer, as well as fans of Lewis's other works.
Thank you Lewis 7 Jun. 2014
By G. K. Youngblood - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a lesser known work by C.S. Lewis. I was inspired to read it after coming across a more recent book by a Presbyterian minister who encouraged his readers to chose social action over prayer. I needed a palate cleanser and Letters to Malcolm was just just what the doctor ordered.
Five Stars 21 July 2015
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good book
Five Stars 26 Oct. 2014
By John S - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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