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Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home

4.29  ·  Rating Details ·  3,486 Ratings  ·  162 Reviews
Best-selling author Richard J. Foster offers a warm, compelling, and sensitive primer on prayer, helping us to understand, experience, and practice it in its many forms-from the simple prayer of beginning again to unceasing prayer. He clarifies the prayer process, answers common misconceptions, and shows the way into prayers of contemplation, healing, blessing, forgiveness ...more
Hardcover, 275 pages
Published August 20th 2002 by HarperOne (first published January 1st 1992)
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Aug 21, 2009 Paul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: prayer
This book is an excellent introduction to, and survey of, the practice and experience of prayer for Christians. Richard Foster draws from many different traditions and experiences and distills them into this very fine and accessible work. It's very practical, unpretentious and inspiring. Foster helps us examine the many facets of prayer grouped according to three intentions on personal transformation, intimacy with God and ministry to others. Among its 21 chapters you may find aspects of prayer ...more
Marisa Banas
Dec 18, 2007 Marisa Banas rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: For a "thinker" type of person.
There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus--That is what I learned after reading this wonderful exposition on prayer. The book is basically a compilation of years of research on the subject of prayer. Richard Foster reviews every type of prayer imaginable, supports each style with historical facts, personal stories, and testimonies of every day people. Often times I hear people say, "I don't pray enough," or "I don't pray well." In most cases, this is simple not true. Richard does a great job of h ...more
May 21, 2009 James rated it it was ok
Shelves: prayer
I read Richard Foster's Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home. I didn't much like it. Well there are parts I want to come back to, and I feel guilty criticizing a book on prayer by someone who has far-and-away-better-prayer-life than me, but it really didn't resonate with me. Here is why:

It is divided into three sections which (upward, inward, outward) and Foster relates each section to one of the Trinity. Each section has seven type of prayers which help you achieve one of these dimensions of p
Feb 16, 2013 John rated it it was amazing
Because of my training in the history of Christianity, I have been privileged to be introduced to many of the mystical or devotional classics, from Julian to Tozer, from Bonaventure to Hilton, from the Jesus Prayer monk to Brother Lawrence. My knowledge is hardly encyclopedic, but I say this in order to offer a context for what will strike some as a startling judgment: The single most helpful book for me to actually pray is this one, and it's one of the very few books I have worked through more ...more
Oct 01, 2009 Glenda rated it it was amazing
Richard J. Foster: Please remember, we are dealing with the crucifixion of the will, not the obliteration of the will. Crucifixion always has resurrection tied to it. God is not destroying the will but transforming it so that over a process of time and experience we can freely will that what God wills. In the crucifixion of the will we are enabled to let go of our tightfisted hold on life and follow our best prayers." pgs 54-55
Adam Tomlinson
May 11, 2015 Adam Tomlinson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology
I cannot think of any other work that so succinctly and comprehensively covers the topic of prayer. Foster once again delights readers with rich theological exposition of scripture coupled with powerful anecdotes from his own life. Following works like Celebration of Discipline, this book is sure to help one transform their walk with God into one that allows for a rich and powerful life of prayer.

Nov 22, 2013 Lisa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction-faith
Outstanding book. Each chapter is a rumination on a type of prayer: the biblical occurrences, the historical occurrences, and the author's personal experiences with this type of prayer. If you read this, your heart for prayer will be changed and your prayer life with be encouraged. I suggest reading a chapter a day to let each type of prayer sink in.
Jan 06, 2014 Doug rated it it was amazing
This work is a great introduction to prayer for either the new comer or old soul. Some of these methods may not even seem like prayer at first. There is much here to ponder.
Todd Hudnall
Jun 05, 2014 Todd Hudnall rated it it was amazing
Not just one of the best books I've ever read on prayer but one of the best books I've ever read. Richard Foster has written a comprehensive and thoughtful work on the subject. He draws insights in prayer from desert fathers and Catholic contemplatives to praying Pentecostals and modern Charismatics, basing his insights solidly in Scripture. With 548 pages it is not light reading but it is good reading. Right now it is a Kindle Deal at $2.99. It's ten years old, so my greatest regret concerning ...more
Aug 14, 2013 Jenny rated it really liked it
Shelves: resource-book
This is a book I'm taking my time reading through and digesting. I have been frustrated for years and years with sermons and books on prayer. Essentially what I got from them was a call to duty (not necessarily a bad thing), and guilt (not a good thing). MOst people I've heard seem to say that they themselves are not "good at praying." Something about this seems off with me. Finally I decided I wanted to spend some time truly thinking about prayer itself, and not feeling guilty. Long story short ...more
Justin Tapp
Feb 18, 2014 Justin Tapp rated it really liked it
Shelves: spiritual
Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home is better than I expected. Good books inspire you to read other, older books the author draws on. This book will inspire you to read Augustine, Luther, and others. First published in 1992, it's already a "classic." Great book to start 2014 with.

Foster gives examples of many types of prayer as practiced and described by earlier church fathers. But what I appreciated about this book is Foster's embrace of a theology of work. Work is worship, it is a prayer we
Alumine Andrew
Aug 25, 2014 Alumine Andrew rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-favourite
This is my favourite book on a favourite topic: prayer. Foster’s main aim in this instructional book is not a how-to so much as go-and! He wants us to experience a deeper connection with God, to spend time with Him and find our way in the world through an intimate and personal connection with God, which can only be achieved through prayer.
In these 21 chapters Foster shows us 21 different ways of conversing with God.

It is incredible to see and learn of these ways which like roads, can lead to a
Mar 08, 2016 Cindy rated it really liked it
While some of the topics were what I expected, some of what the author says about prayer and the practice of prayer were true "ah-ha" moments. I'm sure I'll read again. Recommended.
Adam Shields
Mar 21, 2011 Adam Shields rated it really liked it
Short Review: This is one of the classic books on prayer. If you are interested in learning more about different forms of prayer, this is a great place to start. This is formatted as a survey of prayer, similar to Foster's book Celebration of Discipline. I do not think it is the best book to be your first book on prayer because it can be a bit intimidating to read about so many types of prayer. But as long as you start it with the attitude of doing what you can and not attempting perfection (the ...more
Jeff Peters
Eugene Peterson said it best.

"Richard Foster takes us into the huge forest of prayer and names each tree, points out what is distinctive in each bush and flower. After a few hours in his company, the profusion of detail that at first overwhelmed and bewildered us now delights us, pulling us deeper into the forest"

This is an exhaustive guidebook to prayer with Foster's insights and explanations, you will know everything about prayer types- it is up to you to actually apply what Foster has written
Jen B.
May 11, 2013 Jen B. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian
I should probably start reading this one again today... and then the day after I finish it the next time... and then I should just keep reading it over and over again for the entirety of my lifetime. SO MUCH information, but not hard to read. It is a great, "Meet you where you are" conversation on prayer, offering a lot for the reader to reflect on, personalize and internalize for growth. I really enjoyed reading it with a small group of close friends for the sake of the conversation and process ...more
Carl Jenkins
Aug 08, 2016 Carl Jenkins rated it it was amazing
Absolutely fantastic book on prayer.
Oct 30, 2015 loretta rated it it was amazing
I bought and read this book several years ago. Richard J. Foster is a writer whom I enjoy very much and this book is no exception. His writing is clear and easy to understand no matter the topic. This book is organized to take the reader through all the various methods of praying and while you may know much of the material, it is helpful to read his explanations and to move on in your prayer life with his suggestions and teaching. I have read the chapter on intercession often and it always helps ...more
Geir Skårland
Oct 16, 2015 Geir Skårland rated it it was amazing
I read this book some twenty years ago for the first time, now I have turned to it again. It is still as beautifully written and rich in its descriptions of ways of prayer that I found it the first time.

It is a book that has meant much to me. It is liberating and enriching, because it gives such good guidance for how to pray, without being authoritarian or too demanding. It opens up prayer as a landscape more varied and colourful than I will ever have the capacity to visit and enjoy all of, sti
Feb 05, 2016 James rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology
4 stars.
Writing: 2.5-3 stars (decent to notable). Use: 4.5 stars. Truth: 4 (rare), but a few parts 2 stars.

Foster's book is an excellent work on prayer, the best I have yet read. Chapters are divided into types of prayer. Each type is not only explained, and delivered with modern anecdotes or parallels, but historical statements and explanations are included too, along with a satisfying amount of books recommended for further study.

I was wary of Foster, due to his descent into great error in a s
Oct 29, 2015 Nick rated it liked it
As is all of Foster’s works, this is a detailed, analytical look at prayer and the function of it. Foster covers many different kinds of prayer, and though he uses terminology that I would say is excessively complicated, it still at its core is based on God’s Word. I would contest that simple prayer is not a kind of prayer, but would describe all prayer, but other than that, I had no disputes with Foster’s work. I do not see it as all-encompassing, but perhaps neither would he. I feel that he is ...more
Donovan Martin
Aug 23, 2016 Donovan Martin rated it really liked it
I'm working on a sermon series so I'm browsing books I've read on the subject of prayer. I read this quite a few years ago. One thing that has remained with me is how Foster seemed to encourage thoughtful prayers. I was reading several books at the time so some of this may blend together. His book covered a multitude of prayer types, etc...but he advocated really thinking about prayers instead of rambling without much for thought. I appreciated it that in those days and even more so now.
Alexis Neal
Aug 02, 2012 Alexis Neal rated it it was ok
Shelves: 100-books, religion
Richard Foster, best known for his largely excellent Celebration of Discipline, walks the reader through 21 different types of prayer, including biblical examples and practical guidance. Each section closes with a written prayer that allows the reader to apply the lessons of the preceding chapter.

I have to say, I was pretty disappointed in this book. With 21 chapters, covering 21 different types of prayer, Foster was unable to address any one 'category' of prayer at length. And it's tough to rea
From the chapter on Radical Prayer (the last chapter in the book):

"Our spiritual defiance involves attempting to change God's mind when we believe that to do so is consistent with God's unchanging love. 'Sometimes,' writes Donald Bloesch, 'the prayer of faith involves defiance of God bordering on presumption.'" (p. 247)

I made a note in my virtual margin to the effect of "holy s***", because this statement trespasses on a number of sacred cows of traditional Christian theology, namely the unchang
Jan 21, 2013 Jerry rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion
I found this book very helpful in enriching my prayer life. It has improved my understanding of different types of prayer. It has some good advice on how to pray.

“The truth of the matter is, we all come to prayer with a tangled mass of motives – altruistic and selfish, merciful and hateful, loving and bitter. Frankly, this side of eternity we will never unravel the good from the bad, the pure from the impure. But what I have come to see is that God is big enough to receive us with all our mixtu
Will Waller
Sep 14, 2011 Will Waller rated it it was amazing
Amazing. There is a part of me that shudders to think that I respect a compendium like an encyclopedia or a dictionary. While this has a narrative (somewhat) it really is a listing of all the different kinds of prayer that Christians have used throughout the ages and that Foster has participated in. This makes this book a vital resource for anyone in ministry, or who goes to church, or who lives. To know how to pray opens one up to a myriad of interactions with the holy. Prayer never made much s ...more
May 04, 2015 Danielle rated it really liked it
This was an impulse read after I saw it on the shelf at the library. I'd never read any Foster, but am very familiar with the title of his most well-known work, A Celebration of Discipline. I really enjoyed this book-- prayer is probably one of my favorite things in Christian life to read and think about because I am fascinated by both its power and its sometimes-[very]-frustrating mystery. Not all of the book resonated with me, but much of it did. I copied down a LOT of quotes and largely found ...more
Angie Tolpin
Feb 11, 2015 Angie Tolpin rated it it was amazing
This was one of the most foundational books on prayer I ever read. And as a growing follower of Christ, I found going back to this book a couple of times, to reevaluate where I am in practicing the spiritual discipline and gift of communion with God and my Savior Jesus Christ as well as experiencing His Presence through the intercession of the Holy Spirit. This is my first go to book on prayer.
Kathryn Ross
Aug 21, 2016 Kathryn Ross rated it it was amazing
Best book I've read on prayer. Foster breaks down every aspect of our heavenly calling in prayer as understood in the Bible with clarity and depth. Here's a book to regularly keep on my devotional reading table--taking it one chapter at a time each week, fifty-two weeks of the year, using it like a daily devotional.

Perfect companion to his Celebration of Discipline.
This book is an excellent study of the many varieties of prayer that should be a part of our lives. I felt a little overwhelmed in all of the details, however, it really opened up my perspective on my relationship with God and made me think. I wish I had much more time to study and implement things in this book. It would make a great small group study.
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Richard J. Foster is the author of several bestselling books, including Celebration of Discipline, Streams of Living Water, and Prayer, which was Christianity Today's Book of the Year and the winner of the Gold Medallion Award from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association. He is the founder of Renovaré, an intrachurch movement committed to the renewal of the Church in all her multifaceted ...more
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“The primary purpose of prayer is to bring us into such a life of communion with the Father that, by the power of the Spirit, we are increasingly conformed to the image of the Son.” 6 likes
“We today yearn for prayer and hide from prayer. We are attracted to it and repelled by it.” 2 likes
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