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Praying the Truth: Deepening Your Friendship with God through Honest Prayer Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
I highly recommend it. Fr Barry is a gifted writer.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The book grew, in part, from Barry's decision, during a retreat in 2010, to ask God every day "What do you want of our friendship?" That practice resulted in an almost immediate heightened awareness of God's presence and love. Barry recalls being frustrated to find himself distracted while conversing with God, then being inspired to bring the distractions into the conversation. "When I began to talk to God about my distractions, they were no longer distractions, they became openings to dialogue and greater transparency with God," he writes.
From there Barry explains the simplicity of conversational prayer, devoid of the human tendency to explain personal issues, blame others, and search for solutions. God, he writes, is not interested in listening as we talk to ourselves and try to figure out how God might respond.
Steps Barry takes to move from a one-way attempt at prayer to a dialogue with God include (1) finding a place relatively free of distractions (2) asking God to help him pay attention, and (3) asking what God wants from the relationship. After that he focuses on the Trinity and allows the conversation to unfold. As for God's part of the conversation, Barry explains that he does not actually hear a voice, but rather "gleans" certain ideas which, on reflection, seem to ring true. He explains the discernment process and describes clues that the "voice" is his own, not that of God.
I must stop here to point out that the above summary covers only the first few pages of Praying the Truth. The remaining chapters address "Telling God About" such subjects as your success, sadness, anger, sexuality, and sins. Throughout the work Barry continues to offer practical examples and suggestions for adopting this conversational prayer with God based on God's desire for an honest friendship and dialogue with each of us.
I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to experience God's compassion and understanding of all human emotions in our prayers.
Truthfully, I wish I had had this book in my twenties. This gem really cuts to the chase and provides some bedrock insight on prayer. I never previously considered bringing to God in prayer many of the themes Barry writes about. The core thesis in this book asserts that, "Over and over again we discover that telling God the truth, no matter how unsavory that truth is, pulls us out of self absorption and folly and moves us toward becoming the images of God we are created to be."
The author allows us to consider everything as a subject to bring to God in prayer: from rage, sexuality, sadness, our successes, personal fear,how secrecy poisons relationship, our sins, gratefulness toward God, and much more. This book blends personal stories to the themes of the book and introduces numerous Psalms as a form of prayer telling God of our own existential angst.
This is really a very fine book on prayer and it helped me profusely. I think it can help you too!
I've gained admiration and respect for this book as it triggered fruitful avenues and routes to open me to friendship with God. I especially liked the author's interpretations on the prophet Jeremiah and his own existential angst of following God's call, yet finding little hope or prosperity in his own life for doing so.
In today's spiritual marketplace too often we find ourselves under the ground swell of the meme of teachers who assert that our thinking mind alone creates our reality. Barry reminds us that not everything can be explained so easily and that our personal encounter with God is always, first, a great mystery. God decides how our lives will unfold toward its growth, and pain is sometimes a great teacher which softens us and makes us more human.
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