The Struggle of Prayer
Donald G. Bloesch

“Uncommon breadth and sensitivity … a distinguished achievement in a field crowded with lesser rivals on the same subject.” — Theology Today

“Bloesch illuminates his discussion with rich and varied quotations of writers from almost every era of the church’s past in what amounts to a ‘great conversation’ on prayer and spirituality.” — New Oxford Review

“Essential reading for anyone serious about prayer.” — Christianity Today

“Bloesch has correctly isolated one of the central contemporary issues facing the church: the increasing inability of Christians to pray biblically and meaningfully.” — The Reformed Journal

The key to Christian prayer is “not our action in preparing ourselves, but God’s action in revealing himself.” True prayer is not humanity rising to God in order to become one with him (the mystical ideal), but God reaching out to humanity and calling for a response of obedience. It is the constant struggle to take hold of the outstretched hand of God.

This striving with a personal God is foundational to biblical prayer, stresses Donald Bloesch. In The Struggle of Prayer, he outlines an evangelical spirituality that has at its heart the “outpouring of the soul before a living God.” Forging a theology of prayer, he distinguishes between the evangelical and mystical traditions. In exploring the differences and convergences between these two types of spirituality, he opens up a dialogue that clarifies the tradition of the Reformers and calls for a purified mysticism that is “transformed and redirected by faith in the crucified and risen Savior.”

The goal of this compelling and illuminating study of prayer is a clearer understanding but also a more vital practice — an encouragement to move from “the prayer of rote” to “the prayer of the heart” as we seek in God’s power to “uphold and serve the divine revelations in the midst of the world’s anguish.”

Donald G. Bloesch was professor of systematic theology at Dubuque Theological Seminary in Iowa. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and did postdoctoral work at the Universities of Oxford, Tubingen, and Basel. A prolific writer and theologian, Dr. Bloesch is well known for his work in evangelical theology, spirituality, and ethics. Among his many books is the two-volume Essentials of Evangelical Theology and his seven-volume Christian Foundations series, a landmark work of systematic theology.

Paper/192pp. / 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" / $17.95
ISBN-10: 0-939443-04-X
ISBN-13: 978-0939443048