"What a strange and wondrous fellowship the God-seekers in this book are, how rich the chorus of their prayers," writes world religion scholar Huston Smith in the foreword to this visually splendid volume. Editor John Gattuso notes that people of different religions, despite the variety of their devotional practices, all spotlight prayer as something that unites them. More than 100 stunning photographs here make this book a feast for the eyes, creating a global album of individuals and groups talking to God in their own ways in very diverse settings. In her introduction, religion writer and reviewer Phyllis Tickle describes the book as "a great gift for our spirits' instruction." We couldn't agree more.
The pictures are riches enough, but there are also fifteen substantive essays by familiar religious and spiritual writers. In the first section, "Every Breath a Prayer," Karen Armstrong writes on faith, Thomas Moore on the instinct for prayer, and David Steindl-Rast on prayers and prayerfuless. In section two on "Praise and Supplication," Harold Kushner considers prayer and modern people, C. S. Lewis ponders the efficacy of prayer, and Carol Zaleski assesses foolish prayer.
In section three, "The Still Silent Moment," Jack Kornfield weighs in on meditation, Desmond Tutu looks at mindfulness of breathing, and Thich Nhat Hanh explores the spiritual practice of compassion. In section four, "Reaching Out," Kathleen Norris examines the connection between private and communal prayer, Michael Wolfe analyses the Muslim idea of prayer as a portable doorway, and the Dalai Lama covers meditating on compassion.
Some years ago Richard Foster, the Quaker author of a book about the styles of prayer, spoke for many of us when he wrote: "My whole life, in one sense, has been an experiment in how to be a portable sanctuary, learning to practice the presence of God in the midst of the stresses and strains of contemporary life." Talking to God shows how people around the world are doing just that. This is a book you will want to share with all your spiritual companions to celebrate your journey.