Jesus and Prayer: What the New Testament Teaches Us

Daniel J. Harrington, Author . The Word Among Us $10.95 (138p) ISBN 978-1-59325-153-6

Harrington, chairman of biblical studies at Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Boston, delves into the prayers and passages on prayer in the Christian scriptures, linking them with the Jewish tradition of the early Christians. In doing so, he points to echoes from the Hebrew scriptures in such familiar Christian prayers as the Magnificat , the Benedictus , the Gloria and the Nunc Dimittis from the gospel of Luke. He also shows how much Christian prayer is drawn from the book of Psalms, which heavily influenced Jewish prayer in the time of Christ. Harrington illustrates as well how Christ's own teaching and prayer were based in this tradition, as was evident from his prayer at Gethsemane, which recalls the biblical Psalms of lament. The author deals, too, with the prayers of Paul, whom he calls “the first great theologian of the early Christian movement.” At times, Harrington's text is a bit ponderous and more like a lecture (his presumption, for example, of reader familiarity with terms like “Deuteropauline”), but the inclusion of “Think, Pray and Act” suggestions at the end of each chapter help make the text more accessible. (July 1)

Reviewed on: 05/11/2009
Release date: 07/01/2009
Genre: Nonfiction
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