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For God Alone

For God Alone

A Primer on Prayer

Bonnie Thurston

A prolific author and scholar, Bonnie Thurston has written on topics ranging from the early church, Thomas Merton, Buddhism, the New Testament, and spirituality; among her works on spirituality, For God Alone is her first book on prayer.

Thurston draws on her biblical studies expertise, her theological acumen, and her extensive knowledge of Christian mysticism and spirituality to write an engaging, practical, and down-to-earth introduction to the different traditions and methods of Christian prayer. Using the historic categories oratio, meditatio, and contemplatio, she presents ways to understand and practice prayer. Thurston guides the reader from familiar “voiced prayers” through the prayer of thought and intellect to the less familiar prayer of quiet or listening, concluding each chapter with exercises for the practice of prayer and suggestions for further reading. The result is a unique introduction to prayer that will instruct, delight, and encourage everyone seeking to deepen their spiritual practice.

“Bonnie Thurston is an accomplished scholar and teacher as well as a profound person of prayer and Christian witness. In this volume she wears her considerable learning lightly, such that the witness of her own practice comes through both lucidly and with quiet passion.” — Lawrence S. Cunningham, O’Brien Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame

“From the Bible to Buddha, Bonnie Thurston probes deeply into the theology and practice of prayer, with particular weight on the latter. I doubt if any reader can put the book down without finding himself or herself thinking about prayer in new and surprising ways.” — Patrick D. Miller, Princeton Theological Seminary

ISBN: 978-0-268-04233-2
240 pages
Publication Year: 2009

Bonnie Thurston’s numerous books include The Spiritual Landscape of Mark, Thomas Merton and Buddhism, and Religious Vows, the Sermon on the Mount, and Christian Living. She lives in Wheeling, West Virginia.

For God Alone is a keeper, portable and practical, ‘a primer for those whose prayer pump needs a little priming.’ A seasoned teacher, Thurston, unpacks complex topics in clear ways and restates her points. Thurston leads us beyond praying-as-action and toward prayerfulness.” — Friends Journal

“This book is a general introduction to the theology and practice of prayer, essentially from a Christian perspective but not limited to it . . . very helpful for those who wish to understand, from someone on the inside, these practices of Christian spirituality [and] more helpful to those who wish to take up some of these prayer traditions themselves.” — Choice

“Using the traditional categories of oratio, meditatio, and contemplatio, Thurston offers definitions and explanations, examples and exercises, historical context and suggestions for further reading and study. Many benefits are here for those seeking refreshment, encouragement, or a new spark.” — The Living Church

“_For God Alone: A Primer on Prayer_ is a guide to prayer and its impact on Christians. Covering many methods and practices of prayer throughout Christianity, author Bonnie Thurston presents an intriguing and educational manual that is an excellent pick even for non-Christians trying to better understand prayer’s significance.” — Midwest Book Review

“We need to be faith-filled, but also full of hope and overflowing with love. Bonnie Thurston, poet and scholar, addresses this in her ‘primer on prayer’ called For God Alone.” — Review for Religious

“In her introduction, Bonnie Thurston states that she wanted to write a how-to book on prayer that would be ‘homey and comfortable in tone.’ She has succeeded in doing just that. Her book is a helpful and welcome blend of the theology and the practice of prayer. This book is very user friendly. There is much grace in this book. With insight and winsomeness, Thurston invites everyone to a deeper prayer in life.” — Interpretation

“Bonnie Thurston sets out in this book to teach people how to pray, writing directly and refreshingly from her own experience. There is much in this book to recommend it. Thurston has given us a book that uniquely communicates her own self and experience, and there is much to be gained in listening to the wisdom she offers.” — Anglican Theological Review

“As the title reveals, this is a primer for beginners in prayer, but Thurston’s book addresses a wider audience, as well, people wanting inspiration and deeper instruction. In the Summary Notes at the end she affirms that ‘one is always a beginner.’ . . . This is a very rich book, fed by the whole Christian tradition.” — Cistercian Studies Quarterly

“Thurston is an accomplished theologian, biblical scholar, lecturer and author of many books, although this is her first on prayer. She deftly combines traditional prayer practices from different religious traditions, pointing out commonalities and differences, with personal exercises to encourage an individual discipline of daily prayer. . . . This would be a wonderful volume for a study or prayer group, as well as for college and seminary classes.” — Catholic Library World

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For God Alone

A Primer on Prayer

Bonnie Thurston

 For God Alone: A Primer on Prayer
Paper Edition

A prolific author and scholar, Bonnie Thurston has written on topics ranging from the early church, Thomas Merton, Buddhism, the New Testament, and spirituality; among her works on spirituality, For God Alone is her first book on prayer.

Thurston draws on her biblical studies expertise, her theological acumen, and her extensive knowledge of Christian mysticism and spirituality to write an engaging, practical, and down-to-earth introduction to the different traditions and methods of Christian prayer. Using the historic categories oratio, meditatio, and contemplatio, she presents ways to understand and practice prayer. Thurston guides the reader from familiar “voiced prayers” through the prayer of thought and intellect to the less familiar prayer of quiet or listening, concluding each chapter with exercises for the practice of prayer and suggestions for further reading. The result is a unique introduction to prayer that will instruct, delight, and encourage everyone seeking to deepen their spiritual practice.

“Bonnie Thurston is an accomplished scholar and teacher as well as a profound person of prayer and Christian witness. In this volume she wears her considerable learning lightly, such that the witness of her own practice comes through both lucidly and with quiet passion.” — Lawrence S. Cunningham, O’Brien Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame

“From the Bible to Buddha, Bonnie Thurston probes deeply into the theology and practice of prayer, with particular weight on the latter. I doubt if any reader can put the book down without finding himself or herself thinking about prayer in new and surprising ways.” — Patrick D. Miller, Princeton Theological Seminary

ISBN: 978-0-268-04233-2

240 pages

For God Alone is a keeper, portable and practical, ‘a primer for those whose prayer pump needs a little priming.’ A seasoned teacher, Thurston, unpacks complex topics in clear ways and restates her points. Thurston leads us beyond praying-as-action and toward prayerfulness.” — Friends Journal

“This book is a general introduction to the theology and practice of prayer, essentially from a Christian perspective but not limited to it . . . very helpful for those who wish to understand, from someone on the inside, these practices of Christian spirituality [and] more helpful to those who wish to take up some of these prayer traditions themselves.” — Choice

“Using the traditional categories of oratio, meditatio, and contemplatio, Thurston offers definitions and explanations, examples and exercises, historical context and suggestions for further reading and study. Many benefits are here for those seeking refreshment, encouragement, or a new spark.” — The Living Church

“_For God Alone: A Primer on Prayer_ is a guide to prayer and its impact on Christians. Covering many methods and practices of prayer throughout Christianity, author Bonnie Thurston presents an intriguing and educational manual that is an excellent pick even for non-Christians trying to better understand prayer’s significance.” — Midwest Book Review

“We need to be faith-filled, but also full of hope and overflowing with love. Bonnie Thurston, poet and scholar, addresses this in her ‘primer on prayer’ called For God Alone.” — Review for Religious

“In her introduction, Bonnie Thurston states that she wanted to write a how-to book on prayer that would be ‘homey and comfortable in tone.’ She has succeeded in doing just that. Her book is a helpful and welcome blend of the theology and the practice of prayer. This book is very user friendly. There is much grace in this book. With insight and winsomeness, Thurston invites everyone to a deeper prayer in life.” — Interpretation

“Bonnie Thurston sets out in this book to teach people how to pray, writing directly and refreshingly from her own experience. There is much in this book to recommend it. Thurston has given us a book that uniquely communicates her own self and experience, and there is much to be gained in listening to the wisdom she offers.” — Anglican Theological Review

“As the title reveals, this is a primer for beginners in prayer, but Thurston’s book addresses a wider audience, as well, people wanting inspiration and deeper instruction. In the Summary Notes at the end she affirms that ‘one is always a beginner.’ . . . This is a very rich book, fed by the whole Christian tradition.” — Cistercian Studies Quarterly

“Thurston is an accomplished theologian, biblical scholar, lecturer and author of many books, although this is her first on prayer. She deftly combines traditional prayer practices from different religious traditions, pointing out commonalities and differences, with personal exercises to encourage an individual discipline of daily prayer. . . . This would be a wonderful volume for a study or prayer group, as well as for college and seminary classes.” — Catholic Library World