Cover image for Praying dangerously : a radical reliance on God
Praying dangerously : a radical reliance on God
Ryan, Regina Sara.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Prescott, AZ : Hohm Press, 2001.
Physical Description:
xix, 210 pages ; 22 cm
Subject Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library BL560 .R85 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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This book re-enlivens an age-old tradition of prayer as an expression of radical reliance on God, or non-compromising surrender to Life as it is. This approach expands the possibilities of prayer, elevating it beyond ordinary pleas for help, comfort, security and prosperity. The book invites a renewal of the inner life, by increasing one's desire to burn away superficial, safe notions of God, holiness, satisfaction and peace. Topics include: the prayer of transformation; building a life of prayer; lessons in prayer from people who prayed 'dangerously', and the use of prayer-writing as a means of igniting the inner life.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

In The Way We Pray: Prayer Practices from Around the World, Maggie Oman Shannon asks readers to imagine a world in which "everything we do has the potential to be prayerful." She explores not the content of prayers what is said but the experiential practice of prayer in the world's religious traditions. Tibetan Buddhists pray with beads; what does that mean? Sufis dance when they pray; what can that teach us? It's an imaginative approach. As readers learn more about the religious practices of the world painting icons, feasting, hoisting prayer flags, making milagros or wearing amulets they will be challenged to think about prayer in fresh ways. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved



This book is not primarily about conversational or dialogic prayer. Plenty of others have offered wonderful instruction in prayer of this type, and some of their words will be reiterated here. Praying Dangerously is also not essentially about inspiration, help, or comfort the familiar content of many prayers. Therefore, it is not ultimately about achieving greater peace and harmony, or even greater courage and kindness, although these side effects of prayer will generally be observable in those who pray. The basic distinction in what I call dangerous prayer is brilliantly articulated by author and teacher Ken Wilber, but has been made by many other pioneers in spiritual life before him. Wilber explains two functions of religion or spiritual life, and consequently two approaches to the path. The first function of religion is translational, he says. We translate our lives into a different language, so to speak. Whereas before we may have been cruel, violent, totally self-serving, addicted and proud, religion helps us to translate our old values, behaviors and belief systems. I will call the other function of religion or spiritual life, as Wilber does, transformational. In this domain, the rules of the previous game don't apply. Transformation is a whole new venture. Far from aiming at peace, transformational prayer aims at the sword. Far from feeling better, the soul that is "transformationally prayed" is being annihilated, consumed, eaten up and spit out. The self or ego that, in the course of translational prayer, is dismantled and rearranged in a new and clearer syntax, is now wiped out. It no longer has the least say in the play. With transformational prayer the separate self has been subsumed by what is larger, or truer, or higher (if you will), or wholly (holy) Other. Transformational prayer is about death to all our notions of God, prayer, holiness, spiritual life, and satisfaction or peace. Only in such death or annihilation is a real life possible, or so say the mystics and great poets, and scores of wise elders and saints throughout the ages. Excerpted from Praying Dangerously: Radical Reliance on God by Regina Sara Ryan All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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