Prayer can be a lot of things--praise, argument, groans, tears and listening, to name a few. In The Folly of Prayer Matt Woodley explores the paradoxes and practice of prayer, showing that each type of prayer is legitimate and effective communication with God. Woodley's message will deepen your prayer life through understanding and practicing the many ways to pray.
Prayer can feel mysteriously difficult, boringly perfunctory and frustratingly out of our control. Often prayer brings us comfort, but sometimes, especially when there aren't easy resolutions or prayers go unanswered, it intensifies and focuses our sense of longing, pain and care. And often God uses our times of darkness and desperation to awaken our hearts to the ache within us--and the cries of those suffering around us. Prayer is all about coming before God to face life head-on, with all its jagged edges of mystery, joy, longing and agony. In fact, says pastor Matt Woodley, prayer is actually a real encounter with the untamable God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and therefore our experience of it should reflect the power, mystery and even risk of entering into relationship with the Lord of the universe. In this book Woodley strips away all the religious-speak and presuppositions we have about prayer, distilling it to the essence of wholehearted engagement with the living God. Exploring an earthy, unadorned, jargon-free approach to prayer, Woodley unpacks a host of fresh synonyms for God-encounters, including prayer as desperation, invocation, mystery, astonishment, groaning and even absence. These marginal ways of praying compel us to engage marginal people--the desperate, the groaning, the victimized and the ignored. As we pray God will open our eyes to the pain of the world around us. With stories from his own experience and biblical and historical examples, Woodley gives fresh language to describe a life grounded in prayer that leads to compassion and service.
Matt Woodley is managing editor for PreachingToday.com. He served as a pastor for over twenty years, most recently as senior pastor of Three Village Church in Long Island, New York. He is coauthor (with his wife, Julie, and H. Norman Wright) of and author of He has also written a number of articles published in and as well as
"Matt Woodley's Folly of Prayer puts language, meaning and practical helps around vital modes of prayer. The truest folly would be to ignore this biblical guidance in those murky, shifting waters of the soul's authentic connection with God!"
"Wherever one plunges into these eleven biblically landscaped pathways to prayer, the soul is set aloft and ablaze with the word Blaise Pascal sewed into his coat after his prayer encounter with God and wore until the day he died: FIRE."
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