This article was originally published in Edition (6) of Prayer Magazine,  Apr-Jun 2006.

Available from: www.prayerweek.com  &  www.wesleyowen.com

John Preston’s book ’Prayer - Unwrapping the gift’ is a real gift in itself. It is both exciting and encouraging. Enabling us to draw together all the mixed up longings of our wanting to pray more and  to be drawn deeper into the heart of God both individually and together. It isn’t a manual of ‘do it like this’  it is a vibrant and informative book of ideas that are deeply spiritual, yet practical. It is both a tool and the soil in which the seeds of our prayer can be nurtured. It recognises that prayer is both a joy and a discipline, both free and structured, both focused and spontaneous, diverse and demanding. Not something to be undertaken lightly yet as simple as breathing.

It is a real blessing to anyone who has the privilege and responsibility of organising and sustaining a prayer group or who is looking for inventive and imaginative ways of engaging the church and the wider community. It helps to unpack the word ‘prayer’ and although it is comprehensive it is also just the tip of the iceberg, it is a beginning. A resource to take with us on our journey helping us to avoid the pitfalls of endeavour and enthusiasm which lack direction and giving us a greater confidence aw we come to pray together.

I hope it will be widely read and used and that the fruits of its common sense, wisdom and insights will make all our praying that bit more Christ like.

Lynne Chitty

Gloucester Cathedral.

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