About the Author

Robin is the author of For All Who Wander, her relatable memoir about wrestling with doubt that reads much like a conversation with a friend. She's as Southern as sugar-shocked tea, married to her college sweetheart, and has three children. An empty nester with a full life, she's determined to...

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  1. Chapter 12: I love the bottom of page 141 — “I suggest that you begin by inviting God to kindle a fire of love within you. Ask Him to develop an ache in your heart…. I commend you to the prayer of John Donne: ‘Batter my heart, three-personed God.'” — I taught English for many years, and I had totally forgotten about this poem from John Donne. I found it on the internet this weekend and got a bit re-acquainted.

    Chapter 13: This quote on page 149 sums it up for me: “Our task is not so much to study the passage as to be initiated into the reality of which the passage speaks. We brood on the truth…. The heart, the mind, and the spirit are awakened….” I realize that I am not dwelling in the word as much as I need to. This chapter was so rich.

    Chapter 14: l love the questions for examination on the top of page 157 (Scary!) & Foster’s prayer for protection from spiritual warfare at the bottom of page 157. These were sort of sub-points in the chapter, but might be the biggest thing I take away from this book as a whole. I need to self examen more. I need to be praying those warrior prayers over my family daily. These are 2 areas I need to work on.

    • Lyli,

      You know what? It IS about the takeaway that matters to YOU. Every person who invests time in reading the book will glean those things that are meant for her (or him). Sooo, what resonates with me might not speak to you…which is EXACTLY why I love reading comments! We’re all at different places and maturity levels, and hearing others process Foster’s words and the Lord’s leading is why studying in community is WONDERFUL. It’s like I hear the same words to a different tune. 🙂

      (Brooding on the Truth…such a PERFECT description, isn’t it??)

  2. While reading Chapter 12, Prayer of the Heart, it was a relief to hear Foster “okay” falling asleep during prayer (as the girls also mentioned). There have been many times that I’ve fallen asleep while praying at night, and many times I would wake up feeling guilty! Now, I’m able to look at those prayers as times when I’ve been given the gift of being able to fall asleep in this peaceful state with Him.

    Contemplative Prayer: I loved the quote by James Borst (p. 161), “He is closer to my true self than I am myself. He loves me better than I love myself. He is ‘Abba’, Father, to me. I am because HE IS.” -This is powerful, and so very true. I’m (very) far away from reaching this place of Contemplative Prayer, but I was still able to pull so much from this chapter (and enjoyed all 3 chapters).

  3. Robin, I just wanted you to know that I am reading all your chapter notes from “Prayer.” I am not reading the book from you, but I get so much out of your notes. And I just wanted to thank you for that. I am a reader and will read the book because your highlights captivate me and draw me into desiring to learn more about the discipline of prayer. Thank you again!

    • Rachael,

      Thank YOU for your lovely word gift (popping over to YOUR place to love on you a little). SO very thankful that my feeble efforts have challenged you to read more :).

  4. I can relate to Ch. 12 – The Prayer of the Heart because there have been times in my life when the only way to make it through the day and honestly to even be able to take the next breath was by leaning on God, falling into His arms and resting there. I love Foster’s quote on page 135, “We are encouraged to crawl into the Father’s lap and receive his love and comfort and healing and strength. We can laugh, and we can weep, freely and openly. We can be hugged and find comfort in his arms. And we can worship deep within our spirit.”

    For Ch. 13 – Meditative Prayer, the one thing that stood out to me was Giles’ quote on page 151, “You do right in grieving for your sin. However, I advise you to grieve moderately. For you must always believe that God’s power to forgive is greater than your power to sin.” I need to be reminded of this truth more often because I can be hard on myself when I mess up. No sin is too great for God. No matter how bad I think I messed up or disappointed God with my actions or words, He offers forgiveness time and time again.

    I really appreciated Foster’s honesty in Ch. 14 – Contempative Prayer when he stated that this type of prayer is not for the beginner. It’s comforting to know that I shouldn’t expect to be at this place at this point in my spiritual walk…that it’s perfectly normal to not be there yet. I love that he gave those indicators on the bottom of page 156 so that we can recognize when we start to approach readiness for Contemplative Prayer. My favorite quote from this chapter is in the last paragraph on page 165, “A time may come when we are no longer able to utter words, but — and here is the glory — we are still able to pray, to pray without words.” Isn’t it amazing how God has prepared a way for us in every stage of our life? Even when we are at a point when we can’t communicate with others around us, God has provided a way we can still communicate with Him, through contemplative prayer.

    • Lynsie,

      It’s obvious you’re THINKING and absorbing when you read; that’s special because so often readers fly through the words. You’re trudging, and that, deeply. Thanks, always for your thoughtful insight. It helps me to remember what I’ve read, too :).

  5. I am a bit late in responding.. playing catch up. 🙂 These three chapters left my head spinning. I have to say I think I had the most profound revelation in chapter 12 on the Prayer of the Heart. When Foster was discussing the various expressions of this prayer such as Holy Laughter, Glossolia, “resting in the Spirit,” etc., I have to say I was a bit uncomfortable. I tend to be wary of and skeptical about the charismatic, and often think these experiences are things people have made up or embellished or imagined because they are hungry for the miraculous, the extraordinary, the visible experiences. It just seemed to hit me with quiet force in reading this time.. maybe people are not lying about their experiences. Maybe there is more to be experienced in Christ than I have even thought (Eph. 3:20) and I am NOT experiencing it because firstly I don’t have even the faith to allow God the space to do the work. It brought me to a place of asking the Lord.. “Whoever You are, I desire to know You, to experience as much of You as I can on this earth, in this flesh. I don’t want to miss out on something You want to give me because it makes me uncomfortable. I want all of You, whoever You are.” It was a pretty neat breakthrough moment for me.

    Following that up with the chapert on Contemplative prayer.. wow. There is far, far more ahead for me on this journey, and it excites and exhilerates me! As well as freaks me out a little. 🙂

    • I appreciate your honesty. I also use to be a skeptic of many workings I did not undertand until April of 1995. God shook my world. For 20 yearsI’d had him in a beautiful “religious box, contained within my own understanding.” Oh my he broke the box to smiterines and showed me “He works in ways I had not yet understood.” I stand in awe. Your words are a reminder to me, “Whoever You are, I desire to know You, to experience as much of You as I can on this earth, in this flesh. I don’t want to miss out on something You want to give me because it makes me uncomfortable.” Thank you for your transparent heart.

    • MARTHA!!

      LOVELOVELOVE your comment because you’re so daggum HONEST. 🙂 Your prayer is PRECIOUS and I imagine you weren’t the only one who squirmed a bit in these chapters. Your prayer is the perfect response, though; just begging God to show you who HE is, to teach you, a willingness to learn and openness to recognize you don’t know it all.

      FANtastic, lovie :).

  6. I am also playing catchup…
    Chapter 12 – Page 136 – “The old writers spoke of three stages in prayer – prayer of the lips, prayer of the mind and prayer of the heart. In the prayer of the heart we have come to the end of our tether. We are trying to use words but the words fail us. ” How true I find this to be. Often I am without words while in prayer. I search for them, but come up empty handed. Sometimes I feel like I fail because there are no words but now realize that is a good thing and God understands. He just wants to be my friend and wants me to be still.

    Chapter 13 – Page 154 – The Prayer “Are there things in me that need to burned out? pride…fear…anger…Consume them each one.” Unfortunately we cannot see ourselves for who we are. We justify our own misbehavior but not that of our brother or sister. This is frustrating to me but God is so patient that and loving that he will find a way to burn them out of us. Thank you Lord for being so kind and gentle in the reshaping process of my character. I need you so much. I think I’m o.k. when in reality I am not. But even that is o.k. because you are with me and know my humanness.

    Chapter 14 – Page 163 – “Be silent and listen to God. Let your heart be in such a preparation that his Spirit may impress upon you such virtues as will please him. Let all within you listen to him. This silence of all outward and earthly affection and of human thoughts within is essential if we are to hear his voice.” A discipline that is of great worth. Thinking we always have to have words is utterly foolish and yet I many times strive to be speaking instead of silent before him. In the prayer at the end of the chapter “Doing is easier for me than being. I need your help if I am to be still and listen. I would like to learn how to sink down into the light of your presence until I can become comfortable in that posture.” O.k. Lord that’s what I want. No words, just you and me together.

    • Marilyn,

      You seem to be in this season of increasing awareness–who you are and who God is. Those two things, realized together, are a place of fertile ground, to grow in the faith. Thank you for YOUR honesty and response to our reading. It’s like you’re wearing your heart on the outside :).