Joseph Nassal, former director of Shantivanam, a contemplative house of prayer in Kansas City, Kansas, and Nancy Burke, a writer and freelance editor specializing in spirituality and alternative health, take a broad approach to prayer in this nondenominational handbook. Prayer, they explain, enables us to open a portal to our souls, to experience an ever deepening awareness of God, to enhance our authentic selves, to understand our lives and those of others, to deepen our reverence for all things, to experience healing, and to become God's emissaries.
Although Nassal and Burke write from a Catholic perspective, they use insights from all the world's religions to shed light on four different ways of praying. They discuss meditation as "a prelude to prayer in our spiritual evolution" and include some bold thoughts on reclaiming the feminine face of God. This eminently practical manual also contains helpful tips on maintaining a disciplined dialogue with the Divine.
The second part of the paperback unspools prayers of benediction, petition, lamentation, reconciliation, gratitude and thanksgiving, adoration, and faithfulness. Here one can find prayers by G. K. Chesteron, St. Therese of Lisieux, Walt Whitman, and many others.