Kneeling with Giants
Do you sometimes find yourself searching for a way to approach God or wondering how to get out of a devotional slump? Do you long for spiritual guides you can trust?
This guide to prayer is rooted in centuries of Christian tradition. In each chapter you'll meet a figure from church history, such as St. Benedict, Martin Luther, John Calvin, St. Ignatius, Teresa of Ávila and Andrew Murray. You'll learn how each of these spiritual giants uniquely connected to God through prayer.
Each chapter provides an opportunity to practice a different method for prayer, including the divine office, the Lord's Prayer, the Jesus Prayer, healing prayer and meditation on the Psalms. In the process your own prayer practice will be refreshed and renewed.
Journey into church history and enliven each day of your prayer life.
A complimentary companion volume is included in the e-book edition of Kneeling with Giants.
The Reader has a full chapter of primary source material corresponding to each of the ten chapters of Kneeling with Giants, with selections chosen to clearly introduce each approach to
prayer in its original context. It includes the best modern translations of non-English works, hard to find works, including three Puritan texts and four complete "hours" of the pre-Vatican II Benedictine daily office so that readers can experience the cycle of Benedictine prayer with ease.
"Here is a book that invites each of us to learn how to pray. Not only is Gary Hansen a superb scholar and historical theologian, he also writes with a personal warmth and earnestness that makes his readers feel safe and encouraged as they trace with him the journeys of a company of remarkable men and women from Christian history. The mark of each was that they cared deeply about prayer, and because of that we are enriched as we learn from them. Hansen also invites us to experience our own life of prayer as we learn from this rare community of brothers and sisters--people like St. Benedict, Martin Luther, Ignatius of Loyola, St. Teresa of Ávila and Andrew Murray. I was personally challenged and encouraged in each chapter, and I recommend this book enthusiastically."
"Prayer is one of those areas where one model or one mentor just isn't enough. I've never been good at prayer, and mostly blamed my lack of discipline. But Kneeling with Giants is changing all that as I am now experimenting with many more ways to pray--and doing so under the tutelage of some of God's great heroes of faith. Gary Hansen has provided us with a very practical guide drawn from these saints' actual prayer practices. He also supplies wonderful materials at every turn to make the journey rich and expansive. This is a unique and wonderful resource!"
"By seeing prayer through some of church history's most valuable mentors, this book leads us into practices that are both deep and accessible. It is a book that informs, invites and nourishes our hunger for God. Feast in it!"
"Hansen goes a long way toward bridging the gap between doctrine and faith. And he does it with simplicity and an invitational spirit."
"In this remarkable book Mr. Hansen offers a key insight about a particular way to pray, drawn from spiritual giants of the past. As a good guide he reminds us that the point is not just to learn about these famous ascetics and their books but to actually pray and experience God as they did. Mr. Hansen, a Presbyterian seminary professor, helps us by explaining, for instance, St. Benedict's insight on using the Divine Office, Luther's teachings on the Lord's Prayer, Calvin's studious meditations on the Psalms, St. Teresa of Avila's experiences of recollecting the presence of God or even learning how and why the Puritans wrote out their prayers."
"I would encourage those desiring help in their prayer life to pick this book up and use it as a resource. It is not a book you should read cover to cover, but slowly and thoughtfully while attempting each method. Prayer is hard and it would be wise to use the teachers of the past. Dr. Hansen helps us with that."
Part One: What Language Shall I Borrow?
1. Praying with St. Benedict: The Divine Office
2. Praying with Martin Luther: The Lord's Prayer
3. Praying with the Pilgrim: The Jesus Prayer
Part Two: Praying with Scripture
4. Praying with John Calvin: Studious Meditation on the Psalms
5. Praying with Ignatius of Loyola: The Prayer of the Senses
Part Three: Conversations, Light and Dark
6. Praying with St. Teresa of Ávila: Recollection of the Presence of God
7. Praying with the Puritans: Meditation in Writing
8. Praying with The Cloud of Unknowing: Contemplation in the Dark
Part Four: Asking God for Help
9. Praying with Agnes Sanford: The Healing Light
10. Praying with Andrew Murray: The Ministry of Intercession
Appendix 1: Using This Book in Small Groups and Church Classes
Appendix 2: Putting Prayer into Practice