Amen: What Prayer Can Mean in a World Beyond Belief

For many people, prayer is an essential part of their daily lives, connecting them with God, a force, or the universe, bringing them, among other things, assistance and protection. Prayer makes their lives more meaningful, and in that meaning their worlds make sense. They cannot imagine living without such an important facet of their lives, and as a result of their introspection, they live fuller, deeper lives and offer wider service to others.

Increasingly, however, prayer has become a tradition that has some meaning, but as ritual, not as a vehicle that delivers true significance for those who worship. Despite what it may have meant to previous generations, prayer now holds only a symbolic place in our busy lives and the deeper kinship with community is lost in the vestments of antiquated traditions.

In Amen, Gretta Vosper, United Church minister and author of the controversial bestseller With or Without God, offers us her deeply felt examination of worship beyond conventional prayer, a new tradition built on love and respect rather than on the rituals of ancient beliefs.

Review & Commentary

9 thoughts on “Amen: What Prayer Can Mean in a World Beyond Belief

  1. Review

    My good friend and colleague, Gretta Vosper, a United Church of Canada minister in Toronto has just published a book on prayer that I found to be a probing, disturbing, magnificent treatment of this complex subject. The Book is entitled Amen: What Prayer Can Mean in a World Beyond Belief.

    • Thanks, Jack,

      This title reads as if if it were written directly to me. You may or may not recall that we have spoken together in our occasional meetings regarding these matters as when you accepted my personal unchristeneing (if there be such a concept) or membership in the “Church alumni. I will look for it in our library system.

      Did I ever mention to you my walk last summer to the lovely village of Arncliffe in North Yorkshire? I admit that I visited there at the Falcon Inn, rather that the cemetery, not aware of your association.

      Your admirable work in Newark and later came too late for me. I wanted much more from the Church and Christianity than they could ever give me.

      Robert (Once of St. Mary, Haledon)

  2. I have read Vosper’s “With Or Without God” and felt it was written more for clergy than the average PC in the pew. Is this new book the same or could I enjoy and learn as I do from Spong’s books and essays?

  3. TO: Gretta Vosper (the author)

    You need to get the book onto AMAZON.COM…

    …a need which you clearly understand, based on your other titles there.

    It’s simply not possible to effectively sell a book, anymore, unless it’s on Amazon. It’s just not.

    Those of us with accounts there, or credit through it, must have the book there so we can put it on a wish list, or put it into our carts (but delay purchase until we can better afford it). By not making your book available there, you are risking the likes of me forgetting about it here, and ending-up never purchasing it at all.

    That cannot possibly be what you had in mind when you wrote it.

    Getting it onto Amazon is a breeze. If you don’t know how to do it (because someone else handled it for you in the past or something), then please contact me. I can help you get it done in no time, at all. And I’d be honored to do it.

    Gregg L. DesElms
    Napa, California USA
    gregg at greggdeselms dot com

  4. I just purchased it on, but note that it ships from Toronto, and amazon’s free shipping for orders over $25 applies to this book only when shipped within Canada.

  5. I am looking forward to this book as I have a great deal of trouble with prayer when I do not believe in a theistic God. Just as I have trouble with the minister, after reading the scripture, saying thank you for this reading of “God’s holy word” God did not write the Bible.

  6. Odd, neither here nor on Amazon is there any real description of this book and whatever her thesis is. Not a single hint (beyond “built on love and respect”) of what prayer can mean in a world beyond belief. I have no idea if it is worth reading or not an dyer fans’ “ra ra” ratings don’t add much.

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