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Honest to God Prayer

Spirituality as Awareness, Empowerment, Relinquishment and Paradox

By Kent Ira Groff

6 x 9, 192 pp, Quality Paperback


Large Print edition also available from

Maybe youÂ’re praying and you donÂ’t even know it.

In this unique and encouraging guide to prayer, Kent Ira Groff, a longtime retreat leader and inspiring writer-poet, explores how to engage in spirituality that blesses your soul—and the world. Whether youÂ’re advanced or just starting on your spiritual path, this practical prayer path breaker will lure you in with its novel combination of touching, real-life stories, pithy thoughts and inspiring prayer practices.

For those turned off by shopworn religious language, it offers innovative ways to pray in four metaphorical movements that parallel both Native American traditions and Ignatian spirituality:

  • East—Morning / Prayer as Awareness
        Waking up to reality—opening
  • South—Noon / Prayer as Empowerment
        Embracing your dreams and possibilities—expanding
  • West—Afternoon / Prayer as Relinquishment
        Letting go of attachments—emptying
  • North—Night / Prayer as Paradox
        Uniting the opposites of life—integrating

Prayer practices for each of the four “movements” provide for personal and group enrichment at home and work, in formal programs and informal friendships. They interweave the authorÂ’s own experience to say: “This is honest to God spirituality and IÂ’m seeing myself.”

“Excellent.... Offers you a truly larger house to live in, and a house that will not confine you, but one filled with doors and windows—and plenty of skylight.”

Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM, Center for Action and Contemplation; author, Falling Upward and The Naked Now

“A rich and in-depth exploration of the ongoing expression of prayer in our spiritual journeys [and] an extraordinary resource for all seekers—from those who have well-established prayer practices to those for whom prayer is something new—who are spiritual but not religious. Easy to read yet filled with profound insights that inspire a deeper relationship with Source.”

Kay Lindahl, author, The Sacred Art of Listening: Forty Reflections for Cultivating a Spiritual Practice; and other books

“A sublime spiritual companion on the path toward a life of empowered, authentic prayer. Shares from the wisdom of a variety of faith traditions [and] equips us to embrace a truly awakened spiritual life—the kind weÂ’ve always dreamed of and prayed for.”

The Rev. Peter M. Wallace, host of Day1; author, The Passionate Jesus: What We Can Learn from Jesus about Love, Fear, Grief, Joy and Living Authentically

“[A] wonderful trailbreaker on the spiritual life.... If you pray for stuff, donÂ’t read this book. If you pray for wisdom, read it twice.”

Rabbi Rami Shapiro, author, The Sacred Art of Lovingkindness: Preparing to Practice; and other books

“If you yearn for real-life spiritual renewal, this book is for you! Wherever you open these pages, you will find resources, guidance, grace and honest companionship for your own prayerful journey.”

Heidi Neumark, Lutheran pastor; author, Breathing Space: A Spiritual Journey in the South Bronx

“Opens the curtains on a new perspective, enabling the sunlight of a new way to break in.... Rubs the eyes of tired ecclesia and provides plentiful resources toward discarding unnecessary angst. Here is a holistic guidebook for prayer, particularly for those who havenÂ’t got a prayer.”

Scott Burton, minister of St. MatthewÂ’s Church, Perth, Scotland; author, Holy Whitewater: Reflections on the Spirituality of Kayaking

“More than just a text to read and ponder. It is a call to action.... Recommended.”

Congregational Libraries Today

“Lively and packed with wisdom from many traditions.... Offers a rich feast of possibilities for weaving prayer through daily life. I found myself marking page after page with a resounding, ‘Yes!Â’”

Nancy L. Bieber, author, Decision Making & Spiritual Discernment: The Sacred Art of Finding Your Way

“Groff blurs the line between the folks who are religious and folks who claim spirituality by mining truths in a variety of traditions and offering them to us in story, insight and poetry. Honest to God ... I love it!”

Nancy Corcoran, CSJ, author, Secrets of Prayer: A Multifaith Guide to Creating Personal Prayer in Your Life; Catholic chaplain, Wellesley College

“Will enrich people active in their faith traditions as well as the growing number of people describing themselves as spiritual but not religious. Helps you see God in all things and all things in God.”

Bruce Epperly, author, Tending to the Holy: The Practice of the Presence of God in Ministry and Holy Adventure: 41 Days of Audacious Living

“Remind[s] us that prayer has its own movement and rhythm which we can learn to follow.... Weaves together the wisdom to be learned from the seasons of the day, Ignatian prayer and Native American spirituality in ways that respect the integrity of each, but where each is enriched by the other.... Offers the reader a multiplicity of concrete ways to pray that are both ancient and fresh, [and] an enlivening vision in a sometimes tired field of spirituality volumes.”

Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, author, Desert Fathers and Mothers: Early Christian Wisdom Sayings—Annotated & Explained and Lectio Divina—The Sacred Art: Transforming Words & Images into Heart-Centered Prayer

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