Finding God in the Verbs: Crafting a Fresh Language of Prayer

Finding God in the Verbs: Crafting a Fresh Language of Prayer

by Jennie Isbell, J. Brent Bill


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Do you long for deeper communion with God? Spiritual director Jennie Isbell and Quaker minister Brent Bill know how easy it is to lapse into repetitious refrains of prayer:
"Our hearts told us that we had lapsed into easy God speak. We weren't reaching deep into our spirits and drawing out living words of praise, confession, concern, intercession and longing. We were tired of speaking in clipped shorthand to God. We wanted to pray in such a way that we showed up with our whole selves."
If you have experienced a similar longing, come join the authors on this prayer journey into the deep waters of the Spirit. This book offers companionship and guidance as you begin to notice, consider and deepen your prayer experiences, with refreshing exercises sprinkled through every chapter to offer you a fresh language for prayer. Find God here—in the nouns and the verbs of your conversation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780830835966
Publisher: InterVarsity Press
Publication date: 02/10/2015
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 908,056
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Jennifer Leigh Isbell is an experienced spiritual director with an MDiv from the Earlham School of Religion. She is the author of Leading Quakers, an eight-part curriculum for training worship communities. She and her husband live in Deerfield, Massachusetts.

Brent Bill is a writer, retreat leader and Quaker minister. His books include Sacred Compass, Holy Silence and Awaken Your Senses. Bill lives with his wife on Ploughshares Farm in Indiana.

Table of Contents

1. A New Way to Pray

2. What Lies Beneath the Words

3. God in Action: Finding our Verbs

4. Images of an Active Tense God: Nouns that fit the Verbs

5. Hope, Beauty and Depth: Adjectives and Adverbs

6. Unpacking Meaning: Shared Language and Authentic Prayer

7. Jesus, the Word of God, and Our Words

8. Beyond Words: Other Ways of Communicating—Or Not

9. Gospel Means Good News: And News Is New, by Definition

Appendix 1: Exercises for Building Prayer as a Spiritual Practice

Appendix 2: Prayer Exercises

Appendix 3: Resources



Finding God in the Verbs—the Workshop

About Brent

About Jennie

What People are Saying About This

River Jordan

"Early in my reading of Finding God in the Verbs, I came to the line that said, 'Both of us find that when we pray we enter into mystery.' That's when I knew the book was true—that it was written by those who understand the power of prayer and the divine portal that it presents to our human hearts. One that, if we dare, offers entry into the Holy of Holies and conversation with the Creator. In that, there be deep magic."

Bob Haden

"Finding God in the Verbs . . . is especially for those whose prayer life is not very meaningful anymore. It is a new way to pray. The book exercises begin with you where you are now and lead you into a new way to pray that is authentic, real and life-giving."

Paula Huston

"In this practical yet profound guide to prayer, two lovers of language suggest rethinking habitual ways of communicating with God. Highly recommended for all who long to articulate the silent yearnings, hidden fears, private sorrows and burning joys of the soul—and particularly for those pastors, spiritual directors and soul friends who accompany them along the path."

Michael Birkel

"This exciting book, full of fresh ideas, is an invitation to discovery of self and to theological growth through prayer. It is tinged with humor and filled with stories, summoning the reader to dance, to see with new eyes and to experience the fullness of embodiment. Jennie Isbell and Brent Bill remind us that prayer is about desire and cultivating awareness."

Stephanie Ford

"Brent Bill and Jennie Isbell have collaborated to create a compelling, life-changing book on prayer. They will engage you, with gracious and penetrating questions, to explore the heart of your relationship with God, while also guiding your adventure in growing that very relationship—and thus your life of prayer. This is a book for individuals wanting to deepen a life of prayer, as well being as an engaging guide to small groups considering what a 'real' life of prayer could mean for them. I plan to use this book again and again in small groups, retreats, sermons and in spiritual direction."

Nathan Foster

"Many of us live with a severely disordered view of God. Finding God in the Verbs is a genuinely practical and fun help. With an inviting conversational tone, Jennie and Brent reveal how language shapes and guides our prayers and ultimately unlocks our hearts into a deeper, more intimate relationship of joy and ease with God."

Leslie Leyland Fields

"Finding God in the Verbs came along just in time. I am sick unto death of my own prayers, and suspect God too is tired of rolling his eyes at my words. Why am I so careful in my writing and so careless in my prayers? Bill and Isbell are renewing not only my prayers but my heart."

Erin McGraw

"In this thoughtful, discerning book, Jennie Isbell and Brent Bill invite readers into a closer engagement with prayer by means of a closer engagement with language itself. Using humor, personal experience and deep understanding, the authors lead us into an exploration of prayer that is courageous and profound. This book merits a place on every bookshelf devoted to the life of prayer."

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