50 Ways to Pray: New Book Celebrates Variety of Spiritual Practices

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Prayer is the heart of all major religions, and now more than ever people are seeking new ways to connect with the Holy. To meet this need, spiritual director Teresa Blythe has created "50 Ways to Pray: Practices from Many Traditions and Times (Abingdon Press, $13.00," a book Publishers Weekly calls “helpful and friendly.”

The explosion of interest today in mysticism, ancient prayer practices and guided meditations from many religious traditions spurred spiritual director and writer Teresa Blythe to a compilation of simple, diverse, traditional as well as a few “new age” ways to relate to the Holy.

Drawing on her experience as a spiritual director and prayer workshop leader, Blythe has collected, created and edited 50 prayer and reflection exercises for use either by individuals or groups in "50 Ways to Pray: Practices from Many Traditions and Times (Abingdon Press, $13.00)." Publishers Weekly calls the book “helpful and friendly” and says “the breadth of the book provides an imaginative jump-start for anyone with a narrow conception of how to pray or a limited repertoire of rote prayers.”

“It is my hope that this book will provide at least fifty ways for people to take steps in a lifelong walk with God,” says Blythe, Coordinator of the Hesychia School of Spiritual Direction at the Redemptorist Renewal Center in Picture Rocks, Arizona (near Tucson).

With prayer at the heart of every major religion, there are literally hundreds of books available on the need for prayer or offering written prayers and ready-made devotionals. What makes "50 Ways to Pray" different is that it is literally a “how to” book explaining a variety of tried-and-true practices from many traditions. It doesn’t tell you what to pray, but shows you how to pray -- contemplatively or actively, with sacred texts, with media or with the body. The result being that the reader finds for himself or herself a style of prayer that fits.

Blythe received her Master of Divinity and Diploma in the Art of Spiritual Direction from San Francisco Theological Seminary in 2000. Her writing on spirituality in daily life has appeared in Spirituality & Health, Beliefnet, Sojourners and Presbyterians Today magazines.

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