In our pluralistic world, there are many opportunities for encounters with people of other religious persuasions. Among these are interfaith marriages, personal friendships, praying together for a common cause, national holidays, school assemblies, and gatherings at interreligious dialogue centers. A common act, according to Thomas Ryan, the coordinator/ecumenical officer of ecumenical and interfaith relations for the Paulist Office of Ecumenism, is to pray together. He notes:
"Prayer is the shortest way between humans because God is the One who is nearest to us. Prayer is the strongest bond because it goes through God. In our distressed, broken world, prayer is a bond of peace."
In this handy and helpful paperback, Ryan presents an overview of interreligious prayer with chapters on examples of exclusivist and inclusivist approaches to people of other faiths in the Bible, reflections on prayer and worship, four different forms of interreligious prayer, and practical considerations, including preparation, respect for forms employed, theme, site, day and time, order and content, language, holy writings, symbols and rituals, silence and meditation, food and drink. Ryan also includes resources from eight world religions that might be used in interreligious services. He concludes:
"We need to develop a new way of looking at the multifaith context in which we live, seeing it as part of the richness of the God-given reality. We are struggling to articulate a theology that celebrates our interreligious prayers as a way of reveling in the multicolored, multilayered manifestations of God."