When a Pagan Prays
Exploring prayer from a Pagan perspective.
When a Pagan prays, there are many uncertainties - who we pray to, what we pray for, and what might happen to us as a consequence. Not having the same structures as other religions, Pagans can't frame prayer in the same ways, and our experiences are likely to be wilder and more personal. This book is both a wide ranging exploration of what prayer means in different faith and cultures, and a personal journey into a spiritual practice.
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"What a marvellous book this is: full of sayings, suggestions, & witty remarks which I've underlined to go back to, & add to my notebook of inspiring quotes. It's both a very personal look at prayer, and, one which draws from many religions & beliefs, not just the writer's Druid ones. While it was particularly fascinating to follow author Nimue Brown's journey from being a Pagan who does not pray, to one who does, this book has persuaded me of the value of prayer as a regular practice, regardless of faith or background. From the "petition prayer" – or, as the author puts it, "Please God, give me a pony" - to questions such as, "Who are we praying to, and why, and what for?", to group prayer, writing our own prayers, and much more, this is a thorough, insightful, and at times amusing look at the topic of prayer. Thoroughly recommended! My top choice as a Yule present to my book loving, Protestant sister." ~ Sheila North, Book It
An intelligent, lucid, and honest exploration of a difficult subject. With this book, Nimue Brown is maintaining the reputation she has gained for intelligent, lucid, and honest exploration of difficult subjects. What is more, she does this in such a way as to make the subject accessible to both the beginner and the experienced practitioner. This is a difficult feat to accomplish and we should cherish and applaud this writer and thinker for sharing with us. The subject has clearly been well researched and although the literature is sparse, the author has explored it in depth and assimilated this into a tradition that has, for some reason that has always seemed strange to me, shied away at the mention of prayer. Despite the erudition, the text suffers none of the prolixity one can sometimes find in academic work. This is, in part, due to the framework of the author’s personal quest into the nature of prayer. But it is also down to the fact that the author is a natural teacher. As well as being well-researched and informative, the book is practical. It’s not so much a how-to book as it is a these-are-the-tools-and-this-is-how-they-can-be-used book. Much of the practical element is woven around the personal journey of the author who has displayed considerable courage in opening herself up in this way. Despite that, it is not about the author, but about the experience. In all, a valuable addition to any Druid’s bookshelf. ~ Graeme Talboys
Prayer – formulating into coherent words or actions in the manner of prayer can make such a huge difference to our otherwise scattered thoughts, whether we speak them aloud to deity, spirits, ancestors or whatever we feel we would like to connect with that might be listening. This solidifying of thoughts, queries, petitions or thanksgiving is what makes prayer so beneficial. No longer ethereal or mysterious floaty thoughts, as humans who use language and gestures we define ourselves through prayer, if we so choose. The subject of the ethics of prayer brings to the fore that which humanity so often fails at – looking outside ourselves at the bigger picture. When graced by human consciousness, we should all be looking to live with compassion with all beings. Sadly the ethics of prayer can be abused by the simple fallibility of humanity. Brown forthrightly explores prayer for the benefit of all, as well as, perhaps paradoxically focusing on our inner qualities of the self. Her re-working of the Gorsedd prayer is meaningful, and her instructions to create your own out of your own associations is very good advice, for prayer is such a personal experience. She has taken us on a journey that is filled with honesty and enquiry, and to which we are privileged to have shared, in my opinion. Written plainly, it has an eloquence in its simple approach to the subject, like the simple eloquence of an apple blossom, or the curve of a lover’s cheek. This book is a welcome addition to Brown’s series on Druidry already on my bookshelf, and I look forward to more of her inspired work in the future. ~ Joanna van der Hoeven
A fascinating look into why and how we pray that tackles the difficult questions of pagan prayer with eloquence. Essential reading for all Druids and any pagan who prays or wonders how prayer fits in to modern practice. ~ Morgan Daimler, author of Where the Hawthorn Grows
Nimue Brown has crafted an engaging, heartfelt and careful exploration of her journey toward reclaiming prayer. This book is a wonderful introduction to prayer for any spiritual seeker. It will especially appeal to those who value both rationality and spirituality and are concerned with the profound ethical questions facing the contemporary world. Druidry and Prayer bravely faces these challenges with an open heart and open mind. ~ Jamie Heckert, PhD, Integral Yoga teacher and co-editor of Anarchism & Sexuality: Ethics, Relationships and Power