I've read many books on prayer. They generally give you loads of reasons why you should pray from the bible, then wish you luck and end...
Furthermore, most books simply talk about *asking* God for things, called supplication by a lot of people. If you've ever wondered if there could be more to prayer than just asking for things; if you could just spend time with God; how God could and can be heard; of if God could heal through prayer, then this is the book for you. I don't think Jesus spent whole nights praying the weay we think of it, as in just asking God for things. I'm convinced he went to God to do this but also to seek refreshment, ask his advice and gain his perspective on things. All this and more is covered by this book.
Taste and See actually tells you *how* to pray and gives about 25 different ideas of ways to do it.
This book totally transformed my prayer life. It covers how to focus and begin, being in God's presence, praying about different things, imaginative prayer, contemplative prayer, meditation, reflection and more.
As may be obvious already, I love this book. To add to its virtues it is beautifully written, being easy to understand and use (it's more a workbook or prayer manual than a book you'd just sit down and read in one sitting), and is a book to enjoy.
My one warning would be that for those not from a Catholic tradition, or used to this type of prayer, the first steps may be a little unfamiliar or uncomforatble, but that'd not a neccessarily bad thing in itself. Buy it!
An excellent book, aimed to take the threads of faith and life and weave them together. Readable style with many everyday examples. Exercises at the end of each chapter to put into practice what you have been reading. For slow reading and could be used in groups.
I love Margaret Silf. She uses everyday situations and stories to illustrate big ideas. This book and Landmarks are my favourites. Use them for dipping in to when you have a quiet few moments. Wonderful!
Margaret Silf has a gift for bringing the divine into everyday life. Throughout the book she provides everyday examples of how we can 'taste and see' the divine in the little things of life. With homely images she illustrates symbolically how we can change the way we view life and how we can pray at any time, any where and in many different ways. There are true examples of people seeing messages in the simple things such as a bunch of grapes, a clump of clover in the crack of a pavement and so on. It is the skilful use of images that make this book of prayer very different from any others I have read. And the secret seems to be that it is not to do with words so much as silence and having the stillness to see what is all around us. The down-to-earth images and symbols from everyday life are what bring prayer to life.
The first time I read this book a few years ago I read it too quickly from cover to cover. Recently, after meeting Margaret and listening to her give a talk, I returned to it and began to savour each chapter and started bringing some of the exercises into everyday life. It is the 'tasting' that counts not the knowing. There are also exercises that are from Ignatian spirituality where you imagine yourself in the gospel scenes and Margaret illustrates this by showing how she interacted in a scene. This was a moving read and demonstrates very well the power of the imagination.
Much of the traditional prayer techniques are included e.g. lectio divina, intercessory prayer, prayer of repetition, reviewing the day etc but they have been given fresh appeal through Margaret's use of the everyday and well-chosen imagery. One image that caught my attention and that I use regularly is the 'golden thread' as you reflect on the day. Very simple yet powerful technique for turning what might seem a mundane day into one with meaning.
Sparsely illustrated with well-chosen earthy images to perhaps meditate on. Perhaps my favourite is the jigsaw puzzle on page 112 and the accompanying quote: 'Without the whole your piece has no meaning. Without your piece,the meaning can never be whole'.
A great adventure into prayer indeed! Highly recommended. 'Savour it' and pray continuously!