Beginner's Grace: Bringing Prayer to Life

Front Cover
Simon and Schuster, Aug 9, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 272 pages
Prayer is an ancient and simple way to prepare yourself for grace, or love, and to learn to recognize it when it comes. Even the briefest "grace" spoken before dinner offers its time-honored wisdom. Yet in spite of hundreds of traditions and teachings and books about prayer, millions of Americans have become ambivalent about it. They are unsure how, when, where, and even why they might pray, afraid they’ll do it wrong, or worried that they won’t be heard.

Writing in the beautiful, funny, honest narrative style that moved and inspired readers of her first book, Here If You Need Me, Kate Braestrup explains what prayer is and the many ways we can pray. With an approach that is both personal and inclusive, Beginner’s Grace is a new kind of prayer book. Even if you don’t pray and don’t consider yourself religious, there’s room in this book for you. In these pages, Braestrup explains how and why the practice of prayer can open a space in our busy lives for mindfulness, gratitude, contentment, and a wider compassion toward others.

Inspired by her work as a chaplain, Braestrup includes many examples of prayers to draw from—beginning with grace, a brief prayer of thanks. She provides clear models and practical suggestions for making your own and your family’s prayers meaningful and satisfying, and offers prayers for situations in which words might fail: times of anxiety, helplessness, or grief. And she invites you to explore forms of prayer that extend into the wider community, including prayer with and for people we don’t like or with whom we disagree.

A welcoming modern guide to the simplest, most effective way to satisfy a universal spiritual hunger, Beginner’s Grace is for the religious and nonreligious and even irreligious in its generous, good-humored approach to spirituality. With its insight and warmth, Beginner’s Grace is sure to become a spiritual touchstone for people of all faiths
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - saskreader - LibraryThing

Overall, I enjoyed this book; however, I found some chapters wandered around too much and I lost track of what the author was trying to say. That said, there were several thoughtful and meaningful ... Read full review

Review: Beginner's Grace: Bringing Prayer to Life

User Review  - Rachelle - Goodreads

Kate Braestrup makes brilliant observations and connections throughout her book between everyday life, current events, prayer and religious traditions. There were times I found her a bit self ... Read full review

Contents

An Invitation to Prayer
3
The Starting Point
15
Beginning with Grace
23
Prayers in the Dark and Quiet
31
Lovers Prayers
45
Pausing on the Threshold for Prayer
53
Siren Calls
65
In Praise of a Little Hypocrisy
67
Avoiding the Wrong Words
151
Prayer for Atheists and Agnostics
157
Singing Your Prayers
163
Speechless Prayers
169
Praying with Your Body
177
The Word
193
Prayers in Mixed Company
195
Praying with Enemies
201

Considering the Grace That Saves
75
Prayers for Help
85
Prayers for the Fearful
93
Prayers Before Offering Service
111
Laughter and Prayer
121
Requests Pleas and Petitions
131
Finding the Right Words
139
Interrupting Life for Prayer
211
Refraining
215
Leap
225
Faith
227
Appendix of Prayers
235
Acknowledgments
257
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