Hungry For God: Practical Help in Personal Prayer by Ralph Martin (Ignatius Press, 2000, 157pp, RRP $21.95 plus $4.40 postage. Includes GST)
For those who feel there is something missing in their prayer life, that it could be deeper and more rewarding, this is the right book.
First published some 25 years ago, Hungry for God has been revised. The suggestions contained therein are the reflections of the author, Ralph Martin, a Catholic lay evangelist and author of numerous works. Unlike many spirituality manuals this book's concepts and language are very accessible. Most of Martin's suggestions are ones he has integrated into his own prayer life.
The author argues that a fruitful prayer life is grounded in our relationship with God - Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Integral to this relationship is our acceptance of Jesus' salvific death upon the cross and resurrection as the means by which God has restored the relationship between himself and human beings, damaged through their sins. Martin argues that in accepting Jesus as one's saviour, one of the greatest challenges for modern, individualistic human beings is in accepting that Jesus is in charge of one's life and an integral aspect of Christianity is in conforming one's will to God's will.
Particularly helpful are the insights the author gives as to the role of the Holy Spirit in Christian life. Drawing upon insights gained largely through his involvement in the Charismatic movement, Martin argues that the action of the Holy Spirit and prayer to the Holy Spirit are integral components of a deep prayer life.
Throughout Hungry for God is the underlying theme that a deep prayer life is for all members of the Body of Christ, not just clergy and religious, since a desire to be in relationship with God and to pray are part of our human nature, or as St Augustine would put it, "You have made us for yourself and our hearts are restless until they find rest in you".