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Give Us This Day:

The Story of Prayer


Rufus Goodwin

256 pp.  


Lindisfarne Books


Gandhi called prayer "the key of the morning and the bolt of the evening." But what is a prayer? Do you need to believe in God in order to pray? Why are the words important? What is the difference between prayer and meditation? Should you ask for things when you pray? Do prayers change the world around us?

Rufus Goodwin--writer, linguist, and former United Press correspondent to the Vatican--addresses these and other questions about prayer in this thoughtful book. He examines the various traditions of prayer through the ages. He discusses practices, ranging from the ancient Indian yoga of sound to the Christian monastic rules of prayer, giving examples of the various religious litanies that ritualize and celebrate the sense of a higher life.

Goodwin's intention is not to compare different traditions, but to get at the essential technique and the attitude of prayer--its cognitive workings. Prayer is seen as key to an active inner life and an experience of the higher self. He shows us how prayer can bring about a cognitive restructuring that provides greater access to renewal, imagination, inspiration, and intuition, and provides an anchor for meaning in daily life.

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