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A Practical Theology of Prayer

October 15, 2009

There are many great books in print on prayer, some even from a youth ministry perspective but they all pale in completness and relevance to Mark Yaconelli’s DOWNTIME:Helping Teenagers Pray YS Zondervan, 2008. Praxis is defined as the interrelatedness of theory with practice and then in turn practice with theory. Mark deals masterfully with both elements beginning with chapters 1-3 dealing the background theology and theory of prayer. The final 16 chapters are refections on the practical application and experiencing of those previously articulated ideas about prayer. Chapters include Rest, Eat, Travel, Go outside and Befriend. Thses topics introduce different creative prayer exercises or services that can be utalized in a youth ministry context immediatly, with very little additional creativity or research needed initialy, but with enough footnotes and hints for future exploration to last a life time of exploration. In every chapter the personal stories are engaging, the quotations used are inspiring , the book itself is indespensable as a tool to broaden our horizens about prayer and the various ways it can be experienced. After all over 60% of all teenage students in the U.S. survayed by the SEARCH institute say that they pray-We in the field of youth ministry need to make prayer a key ongoing, repeated enphasis in our programs and teaching. Jump start your renewed commitment to this task with Mark’s book.
It has been a pleasure to be in dialog with Mark Riddle about comments I posted on INSIDE THE MIND OF YOUTH PASTORS, I continue to encourage the reading and use of the book, Mark is a great guy, check out the book at

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