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Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  5,006 ratings  ·  248 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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Average rating 4.25  · 
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 ·  5,006 ratings  ·  248 reviews

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Feb 16, 2013 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
May 21, 2009 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
Marisa Banas
Dec 17, 2007 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
Paul Dubuc
Aug 21, 2009 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
Adam Tomlinson
Oct 31, 2014 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 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.
Dec 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Read this with a group in a prayer "class" over 4 months and found it a great way to delve into the different types of prayer. Foster has a humble way of sharing his experiences of prayer that broadens definitions of prayer and makes it accessible in various areas of life.
Jan 27, 2011 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.
Jun 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: prayer
It took me a year to read (digest) this book. I couldn't stop, but I couldn't rush it either. Having finished it, I feel like I'm standing on higher ground.
More than any other of its genre that I've seen, this book covers the topic of prayer. each chapter discusses a different "type" of prayer, all of which fall into the three categories of inward, upward, and outward - in that order (like Nouwen's writings). The book works well as a sort of progression, through which you can walk, practice, and
Jared Beiswenger
Perhaps the greatest book I've ever read

It's dense with practical examples and Godly wisdom about prayer. After each chapter I thought about how much I'm looking forward to going back and reading it again. It's transformed my idea of what it means to have faith and to pray. Probably the best book a Christian can read besides the Bible.
Mar 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the most inspirational books I have ever read.

Simply mind-blowing.

Apr 03, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: christian-books
Some chapters were really helpful and inspiring, but others were a little too mystical for me.
Nick Miller-Katenkamp
Mar 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion
Foster's book is a great read on the power and usefulness of prayer. His section on healing prayer was a highlight of the book.
Nov 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: top-2019
Super insightful. Lots of information. Learned a lot about prayer and the types of prayer.
Justin Tapp
Jan 12, 2014 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
Jan 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Now that I have finished this book, I feel that I should immediately start over again at the beginning. It would take a lifetime to learn, remember, and apply everything presented in this book. I am one who has always struggled with the concept of prayer. My excuse for not praying has been rooted in faulty reasoning such as "Why pray when God is in control anyway?" After reading this book, my attitude towards prayer is dramatically and forever changed. I come away feeling comforted in the realiz ...more
Alumine Andrew
Aug 25, 2014 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
Adam Shields
Mar 09, 2009 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.
Apr 24, 2013 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
Todd Hudnall
Jun 02, 2014 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
Oct 30, 2015 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
Oct 01, 2009 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
Jun 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Really excellent, done in his typically humble, grace-filled style. Yet also useful, practical, and freeing despite the litany of to-dos it left me with. I had read chapters piecemeal before, but this time was compelled straight through. It's worth another try if you've left it previously. Had a similar experience about ten years ago with mere Christianity.
Feb 29, 2016 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.
Carl Jenkins
Aug 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely fantastic book on prayer.
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Some quotes:
1) Chapter 1: Simple Prayer
-pg. 8: 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 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 mixture. We do not have to be bright, or pure, or filled with faith, or anything. That is what grace means, and not only are w
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I felt like I was with a C.S. Lewis group of friends, only I didn’t have to go to the tavern. I could sit in my own recliner and argue my thoughts in the margins. I had read most of this one once before, probably 15 years ago. It was good to go back and see my underlined and notes.

I have felt an increased anointing after finishing the book like I have felt a few times in my life before. It is nothing so have done, but the Spirit of God was just on the pages and leaked out onto me as I read.

I f
Eric Bradley
Mar 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Richard Foster provides an extensive overview of Christian prayer targeted toward a broad Evangelical Protestant Christian audience. The book is structured into three parts, directed in our posture toward prayer: inward, upward, and outward. This was different from other books on prayer that I have encountered, which will either direct through stages of prayer itself or of spiritual development. At first I was a little taken aback by this; for example, when the second of twenty-two chapters addr ...more
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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.” 7 likes
“Your prayer must be turned inwards, not towards a God of Heaven nor towards a God far off, but towards God who is closer to you than you are aware.” 4 likes
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