Approach to Prayer (Zeller)

The Cenacle Press at Silverstream Priory

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"Prayer must necessarily involve a discipline, but it need not involve a system...In our prayer we must return to the primary purpose of what we are trying to do: we are trying to bring worship to God. The greatest act of worship that man can give to God is to refer back to him what God has already given. Man has nothing of his own to offer, nothing that has not been lent by God."

Almost everyone who has believed in God has wondered how to pray to him. But in the same way that no two relationships are identical, no two people's prayer life with God are identical. More important than praying perfectly is praying diligently, with reliance on God's grace, and a readiness to "remain in whatever state of spirituality God chooses to allow." By uniting penance, confidence, and humility to prayer, man will avoid the snares of the devil and come to greater union with God. 

This book is not for those seeking a step-by-step guide to the interior life of prayer. But it is for those who desire to do everything they can to come close to God. By laying out the principles of prayer, Van Zeller provides both an understandable education for those who have just begun to think about prayer, as well as a helpful review and self-examination for those who have been praying for many years.


Born in British-controlled Egypt, Dom Hubert van Zeller (1905–1984) was a Benedictine monk of Downside Abbey in Bath, England, where he was educated. Of his scholastic career he said that he “passed no examinations—merely by-passed them.” The author of numerous books ranging from scriptural commentary to fiction and biography, he was also renowned as a minimalist sculptor and cartoonist. He was a friend of Ronald Knox and of Evelyn Waugh, who described Dom Hubert’s writings as “characterized by vitality and elegance.”

Page count: 124

ISBN: 9781915544209

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