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Pray without Ceasing
Revitalizing Pastoral Care
POD; Published: 8/10/2006
ISBN: 978-0-8028-4759-1
Price: $ 27.99
264 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6 x 9
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Taking seriously Paul's exhortation in 1 Thessalonians to "pray without ceasing," Deborah van Deusen Hunsinger challenges pastors and congregations to put prayer at the center of their Christian practice and theological reflection. In this thought-provoking book Hunsinger reclaims spiritual practices from token use and unites them in a dynamic network of interdependent caring traditions.

The book begins with the three foundational disciplines of spiritual reading, careful listening, and self-reflection. Hunsinger then explores prayers of petition, intercession, confession, lament, and thanksgiving. Finally she offers practical, workable suggestions for developing pastoral care groups and teaching care-giving skills at the congregational level.

Clergy and laity alike will reap the benefits of this revitalizing look at the spiritual disciplines as dynamic forces in the life of the church.

Ann Belford Ulanov
— Union Theological Seminary
"Prayer is to the soul as dreaming is to the psyche, as breathing is to the body. We all pray even if not conscious of doing so. Hunsinger gives us a gift with this splendid book by making us aware that prayer flows through us as well as from us and to us, for God's livingness is the heart of praying and goes on unceasingly. Drawing on scholarly sources and offering many insights into the possibilities of prayer, Hunsinger provides a resourceful guide to readers that will last for years. The chapter on prayers of lament, the emphasis on self-empathy, and the assertion that prayer is not a tool in pastoral care, nor a strategy, nor a means, but always an end in itself particularly caught my attention. This book is for the ordinary reader too, but especially for the Christian caregiver whose distinctive mark is prayer, linking to the center of reality persons under her care. We can hear the hum of Hunsinger's own praying in the background of each chapter, and that lends an especial authority to what she writes."
Leanne Van Dyk
— Western Theological Seminary
"Convinced that prayer is both a nourishment and a calling for all Christian believers, van Deusen Hunsinger has gifted the church with a book of great clarity and wisdom. It brims with experience and perceptiveness as well as deep passion for how the practices and disciplines of prayer can shape pastoral ministry and the community of faith. Pray without Ceasing is a treasure of biblical, theological, pastoral, and practical reflections on this vital Christian practice."
Andrew Purves
— Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
"Pastoral theology and the practice of ministry are once again being intentionally connected to the historic faith and piety of the church. Deborah van Deusen Hunsinger is part of this process, and her new book, Pray without Ceasing: Revitalizing Pastoral Care, is an important contribution. Between its covers is a beautifully written, theologically astute, and spiritually wise text that will guide all of us who seek to be faithful in the ministry of pastoral care. I have been waiting for a book like this for a long time, and I am grateful for its publication. I intend to put it on my course lists for many years to come."
Allan Hugh Colr Jr.
— Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary
"This book demonstrates splendidly both why and how caring ministers ought to 'pray without ceasing.' Recognizing that pastoral care thrives as the faith community prays together, Hunsinger challenges caregivers to pray for and with God's people in ways modeled by God in Jesus Christ, even as they seek to equip others for the same; doing so remains the heart of the caring minister's distinct vocation. Deeply theological in both content and tone, yet wisely conversant with significant contributions from the human sciences, this thoughtful book builds on Hunsinger's previous suggestions for revitalizing pastoral care. Among the book's many strengths is that it embodies the deep connection between thinking about prayer and practicing it for the praying life. Hunsinger engages here in pastoral theology at its best. This is a must-read for both new and seasoned caregivers, ordained and lay alike."
Theological Book Review
"Potentially a classic text. . . Hunsinger is clearly a luminary, bringing to the understanding of pastoral care a depth of theological wisdom, pastoral sensitivity and a creative imagination."