From Pain Into Prayer: Opening up to God when life is hard Paperback – 4 Aug 1997
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Angela Ashwin writes of the different types of suffering that make it difficult to pray, such as hurt, misfortune or fear. She shows how to pray through problems and come out on top. The book is divided into themes and each section ends with a reflection or quotation to help take prayer further.
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Top Customer Reviews
The book consists of 67 very short sections, each only a couple of pages, covering a variety of situations. A table of contents allows you to pick out relevant ones, but I actually preferred to read the book from the start. There are three parts: "Hurts", dealing with forgiveness and remembering or forgetting wrong done by others; "Praying with our own sinfulness", covering not just sinful actions but such things as pride, self-consciousness and distractions that can be a barrier to prayer; and "Misfortunes, fears and frustrations", dealing mostly with illness (self or others), and also depression, anger and doubt.
Ashwin is practical and realistic: "Far worse than making a mess of prayer is giving up praying altogether". But as well as the usual advice about being honest with God about how you feel, she suggests ways to use the situation as an opportunity for closer connection with God. One way is through seeing the bigger picture, for example, she recounts a small incident where she felt unwanted, and how she was able to offer her hurt feelings as prayer for refugees and those pushed out of their homes. "Everything is raw material for prayer."
There are also various practical techniques suggested, including the use of a candle, music, relaxation, visualisation, a cross, a rosary, repetition, silence. Suggestions for further reading on these are also given. Most of the sections end with either a short prayer or a thought-provoking quotation.Read more ›