Stop Reading. Start Praying.

Dawn Duncan Harrell died of pancreas cancer on April 21, 2019. Her passion and power in all things are desperately missed by all who love her. Her writings will continue to be available.

Do you want to begin or re-energize a habit of prayer? Would you rather talk with God than check prayer requests off a list? Or fall asleep?

Dove BackgroundPrayer is telling God what we want and need, but it is more. Prayer is also listening to God, and it is in the listening that we see and feel God’s power. In fact, if prayer does not  include hearing and following the Holy Spirit’s lead, then it can be pretty boring—just you repeating your agenda to God, or even more tedious, you listening to me reiterate my agenda. These exercises foster a two-way conversation between you and God.

Here you’ll find ten step-by-step methods for practicing a historical prayer. The pages supply:

  • a brief story of one saint’s struggle to pray and a description of his or her approach to being with God
  • clear steps so that you can work the method the first time but may also find something new when you return for a second try (click one of the links to the right)
  • suggestions for trying the prayerin short bursts when longer periods of time are not available
  • ideas for using the method with a prayer partner or small group
  • questions for thought and discussion
  • resources for further study

This is not a prayer journal, though you can read the Stone’s Throw Away essays and I encourage your comments. It’s not a collection of ancient prayers, though each saint is quoted on his or her page. It is neither a theology, nor an anthropology, though I give a paragraph on the rationale for each practice and build these methods around spiritual direction tools that address human nature. Neither is this a Bible study, though Scripture is frequently cited.

You might think of Ten Ways to Pray as Cook’s Illustrated for pray-ers. The point is to remove obstacles and add strong, but not cumbersome, support so that you can stop reading and pray.