“Pray, Write, Grow” – Book review


If you’re a writer, you’ll like Ed’s book. And if you’re a pray-er, you’ll like Ed’s book. If you’re both? You’ll love Ed’s book.

You don’t often get advice for both in one place. But here is a place: Pray, Write, Grow by Ed Cyzewski.


“If you want to improve your prayer life, try writing.  If you want to improve your writing life, try praying.  The two require many of the same practices, disciplines, and virtues.”

Both require a “lifestyle of observation and self-reflection.” And while neither praying nor writing are “safe” practices, Cyzewski encourages you to take leaps of faith into both, and helps you see potential benefits that follow.

Pray, Write, Grow includes advice on how to create space (physical and spiritual) for praying and writing, how to explore new ideas, what to do with wounds you uncover, how community can help you, and more.

“What we pray about often provides something to write about, and what we write about often provides something to pray about.”

In the back of the book, Cyzewski includes two Quick Start Guides, one for prayer and one for writing, for some simple ways to break through common challenges as well as an extensive list of helpful books and websites.

The book is short. But don’t equate that with “lite.” It’s packed full of inspiration and doable practices to enhance your individual prayers and writings.

Chapters include:

  • Chapter 1 – Creating Space to Pray and Write
  • Chapter 2 – Learning to Be Present
  • Chapter 3 – Do You Want to Be Made Well?
  • Chapter 4 – Breaking Through with Self-Awareness
  • Chapter 5 – Discernment through Prayer and Writing
  • Chapter 6 – We Pray and Write by Faith
  • Chapter 7 – Getting Started (Writing and Prayer Quick Start Guides)

“We pray, write, and grow because we were made to experience abundant life and to share that abundant life with others. If we try to bottle it up for ourselves, we’ll miss out on the greatest joys of prayer and creativity. We all have something to offer others.”

* * *

The last I checked, Pray, Write, Grow is on sale at Amazon for only $1.99. If you want it, get it now.

Thanks to Ed Cyzewski for a free review copy of this book.

16 thoughts on ““Pray, Write, Grow” – Book review

  1. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    Looks like a cool book.

    For me, life and writing and prayer are all inter-related…I don’t go for very long at all without thinking on the theological. It may be that I was God-haunted from early in life, or that living in various situations…some professional, some personal…with literal death at my elbow has sharpened my sense of the transcendental…but I don’t really need to create space for it. Or writing. Where I am, it’s what I do.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Sounds like it’s in your blood. That’s a blessing! Some people have to work harder at it, while others like you have come to it naturally (and/or at least “naturally” through circumstances….). Thanks, Andrew. I’m glad it’s where you are and what you do.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Ha. Sorry to tempt you with more books, but a book on praying and writing probably isn’t too bad, right? 🙂 Hope you like it. I really like the way Ed writes–he’s practical, witty, and relevant.

  2. Lynn Severance

    Lisa – I had pre-ordered this book from the other posting you did alerting your readers to it.
    It downloaded to my Kindle app yesterday and I am looking forward to reading it – even more after THIS posting!

    I don’t know where praying and writing begin or end with me – it is all interconnected. I pray before I write and it seems a prayer flows forth in the writing ( informal or formal ). It is so wonderful sensing God in all of it so I am totally interested in how Ed expresses this whole concept from his perspective and experience!

    xo Lynn

      1. Jean Wise

        Or we could write it together. Since we both like to read I just saw this book – hadn’t heard of it before: going to see if our library has it…keep writing and praying too, Lisa

        Powers of Two by Joshua Wolf Shenk
        This was my favorite book of 2014. Shenk examines powerful duos throughout history in order to unlock the magic of creating in pairs. (Additionally, the book contains some fascinating insights into the collaboration of Lennon/McCartney.)

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yes, this might be a great book for you with contemplative practices. I’m so drawn to contemplative practices myself, so these kinds of books keep me humming. 🙂

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