Patricia D. Brown, founder and director of Spiritworks Inc., is an ordained United Methodist minister, pastoral theologian, and associate professor of educational ministries and Christian formation in the School of Theology at Seattle Pacific University. In this user-friendly resource, she has gathered more than 40 different prayer practices, both ancient and modern, that integrate "heart and head, faith and reason, and holy living with active compassion." Each chapter includes the history or background of the prayer practice, step-by-step instructions, things to think about or questions for reflection after you've tried the practice, and a bibliography of other books and resources to continue your journey. Brown's vision of prayer is formed by an ecumenical and multifaith sensibility along with a respect for insights from psychology and related disciplines.
One of the most helpful parts of this broad and substantive volume is a prayer styles self-assessment, similar to the Myers-Briggs research model. Prayer is not a one-size-fits-all matter, so you can take a test to see which of four styles searching, experiential, relational, or innovative is best suited to you. For example, those inclined toward innovative prayer revel in new insights, the imagination, creativity, and novelty. The prayer practices most appropriate for them are praying with the body, prayer labyrinth, home prayer altars, Ignatian prayer (guided imagination), prayer beads, praying with mandelas, and prayer dance. Explanations of so many prayer practices make this book the perfect resource for Christians who want to deepen and enrich their devotional lives.