The Path of Celtic Prayer
IVP Formatio
 

The Path of Celtic Prayer

An Ancient Way to Everyday Joy

by Calvin Miller

The Path of Celtic Prayer
paperback
  • Length: 170 pages
  • Published: April 2012
  •  In stock
  • ISBN: 978-0-8308-3574-4
  • Item Code: 3574
  • Case Quantity: 56

Discover an ancient way of prayer that leads us to new union with God.

"Long ago," Calvin Miller writes, "when the Celts built their own rustic kingdom of God in what would later be the British Isles, their fervor in prayer washed their world in a vital revival." In uncertain and dangerous days of high infant-mortality rates, leprosy and plagues, the Celts breathed candid prayers out of the reality of their lives: Desperate prayers for protection. Praise for the God who was king over all creation. Honest prayers of confession. In these pages, Miller introduces us to six types of Celtic prayer that can connect us to God more deeply by helping us pray out of the circumstances and uncertainties of our own life.

"This book proposes a kind of prayer that can end our amputated feelings of separateness from God," says Miller. What was true for the Celts is still true for us: "Hunger for Christ keeps us talking to God till our separation is swallowed up in our unending togetherness with him." As rich as the faith they describe, these pages lead us on an ancient path that gives guidance for present and future prayers, until the day the Celts longed for, when all separation is gone and we live forever in the presence of God.

"Pastors and church leaders will find encouragement and insight in this book."

PreachingNOW, February 20, 2008 [review of the hardcover edition]
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CONTENTS

To the Reader
Introduction
1.TRINITY PRAYER: The Art of Loving All of God
2. SCRIPTURE PRAYER: Praying the Bible Back to Its Author
3. LONG, WANDERING PRAYER: Seeing Life as a Single, Unending Prayer
4. NATURE PRAYER: Poetry and Praise in Ordinary Life
5. LORICA PRAYER: Asking God for Protection
6. CONFESSIONAL PRAYER: Living in Agreement with God
Afterword
Notes

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Calvin Miller (1936–2012) was a pastor, professor and storyteller, best known for The Singer Trilogy, a mythic retelling of the New Testament story in the spirit of C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien. Miller passed away on the afternoon of August 19, 2012, due to complications after heart surgery. He was 75.

A prolific artist and a writer's writer, Miller garnered respect and praise throughout his career from peers like Luci Shaw, Max Lucado and Philip Yancey. He was the author of more than forty books of popular theology and Christian inspiration including such recent books as Letters to Heaven, The Path of Celtic Prayer, Letters to a Young Pastor and his memoir Life Is Mostly Edges.

In addition to his twenty years of pastoral service at Westside Church in Omaha, Nebraska, Miller was also a great mentor to many students and leaders through his preaching and pastoral ministry classes at Beeson Divinity School. Calvin Miller, never one to multiply words, used just four to describe his rule of life: "Time is a gift."

Read IVP's press release: Celebrated Author of The Singer Dies.

How Miller Got Started

In their history of InterVarsity Press, Heart. Soul. Mind. Strength., Andy Le Peau and Linda Doll tell the story of how Miller's first manuscript was received at the Press:

Rescue from the Slush Pile

In October 1973 one important book was rescued from the slush pile (the stack of unsolicited manuscripts every publisher receives) by assistant editor Don Smith. He read a manuscript by a little-known Baptist pastor in Nebraska that was a poetic retelling of the life of Jesus—portraying him as a Troubadour. Both he and Linda Doll excitedly encouraged Jim Sire to take this imaginative manuscript seriously. In February 1974 Sire wrote the author, Calvin Miller, that IVP wanted to publish his book The Singer.

Months before, Miller had been waking up nights, stirred to write this tale, perhaps unconsciously inspired by the recent Broadway hits Jesus Christ Superstar and Godspell. Later Miller wrote:

When the manuscript was done, I sent it to Jim Sire at InterVarsity Press. “It’s good,” he said, “but we want to think about it a couple of weeks before we give you an answer.” So I waited until finally the letter came. They were going to do it. Jim Sire had done his Ph.D. on John Milton, and the fact that he liked it was joy immeasurable to me. “But,” he cautioned, “we’re going to print five thousand of these. They may not do well—in fact we may end up with four thousand of them on skids in our basement for the next ten years. Still, it’s a good book and deserves to be in print.”

Far more than a thousand copies sold. Actually, over three hundred times that amount sold in its first decade. It became “the most successful evangelical publication in this genre.” The Singer was followed in two years by The Song (paralleling the story of the early church in Acts) and two years after that by The Finale (inspired by the book of Revelation). Publication of The Singer changed Miller’s life. Even though he stayed in the pastorate for many years, it set him on a course of writing and speaking that he could not have imagined.

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