Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer

by C. S. Lewis

Hardcover, 1964




Geoffrey Bles (1964)


In the form of warm, relaxed letters to a close friend, C. S. Lewis meditates on many puzzling questions concerning the intimate dialogue between man and God. He considers practical and metaphysical aspects of prayer, such as when we pray and where. He questions why we seek to inform God in our prayers if he is omniscient, whether there is an ideal form of prayer, and which of our many selves we show to God while praying. The concluding letter contains provocative thoughts about "liberal Christians," the soul, and resurrection.

Media reviews

NBD / Biblion
Lewis, gerespecteerd om onconventionele studies over o.m. engelen en verdriet, schrijft hier, zonder enige concessie dan hoe het hoort over wat hij doet als hij bidt. Bidden bewerkt een verandering - van passief naar actief - '... in plaats van slechts bekend te zijn, tonen wij onszelf...' (p. 19). Ter sprake komen de gebedshouding, de bedes van het Onze Vader, gebedsintenties, (ver)horen van gebed e.a. Dit boekje bevat 22 brieven van Lewis. Ze worden niet ingeleid. Daarom weet de lezer niet wie Malcolm is aan wie de brieven gericht zijn en waarom zijn aandeel in de correspondentie ontbreekt. Verbazing wekt ook het tijdstip van verschijnen: de eerste druk van de Nederlandse vertaling verscheen 25 jaar na het overlijden van de auteur. Een (korte) verantwoording is gepast bij een uitgave als deze! Ten slotte: het boekje leest vlot, bevat veel heldere uitspraken en puntige formuleringen die de lezer uitnodigen zelf verder te denken. Aanbevolen voor ieder die de weeƫ smaak die veel lectuur over bidden teweegbrengt, weg wil slikken. (Biblion recensie, J. Wilts.)

User reviews

LibraryThing member Mialro
Interesting insight into Lewis's mindset and spirituality, as well as relationships.
LibraryThing member vicarofdibley
essays in the form of letters on the nature of prayer
LibraryThing member antiquary
I read through this in the Episcopal Church at Yale
prayer group and found in helpful.
LibraryThing member robinamelia
This was my second time reading this. The book just gets better! Lewis is still the most articulate and sensible writer on prayer. A must read.
LibraryThing member nathan.c.moore
I listened to this on audiobook and so there were frequent interruptions. Nevertheless, out of the 15 CS Lewis books I've read, this is probably my least favorite. The book primarily consists of speculations and musing on prayer with very few conclusions. I certainly differer from Lewis on praying for the dead and the existence of purgatory both of which he referenced but chose not to defend.As anything written by Lewis does, the book contains flashes of brilliance and a heap of great one-liners, though fewer than usual. Recommended only for those who like reading the monologue letter style that Lewis uses in Screwtape Letters or for those who intend to read all of Lewis' works.… (more)
LibraryThing member justagirlwithabook
This book is part of my C.S. Lewis collection. I went through a huge phase where I was just obsessed with anything and everything by him. While I don't agree with all of his theology, I do love his writing style and the things he has to say about faith. He was a good one.
LibraryThing member BenKline
There is no preface, description, or backstory given to this volume of letters (or to any of the letters individually). Nowhere in the book or the title or the backcover does it even say who Malcolm was(/is). So its interesting in that there's no knowledge of who anyone is (other than obviously knowing who CS Lewis is), and knowing nothing about the letters other than that the general theme will be 'prayer'.

There is also no return letters from Malcolm, so everything is in kind of just a vacuum. No dates, no explanations behind anything, just 'here you go'.

I'm not a religious man really by any stretch anymore (grew up in a Christian house, grew up always going to church). I'm not anti-religious, just more or less 'non-religious'. BUT, I've always been intrigued and fond of CS Lewis' writing, both theological and fictional. ... this grouping of letters though, leaves something to be desired though. Without knowing the context (not getting to know who Malcolm is, or seeing his letters), it's a bit odd. Plus there's jumps in context because of it. The book also closes out on their talk of heaven and getting to meet in real life again, but not much of a closure on the ending.

Overall interesting, but just more of a curiosity sake than anything else. A few theological gems in there however. And interesting read for those seeking enlightenment on prayer though.

Well.... after reading the bio of the 'novel' here, I see its all fictitious letters that CS Lewis wrote, in the same vain as The Screwtape Letters. (Might be why the only writing on the front/back cover of this is a blurb saying "From the writer of The Screwtape Letters".) Would have been nice to know it was fictional letters rather than thinking this was his real letters to an individual, might have given some context. This was in the religion section at the Hershey Library, which includes both fictional and non-fictional religious works, so there was no indicator of that. Well, at least it was good to find out and not be ignorant of that in the future, heh.
… (more)
LibraryThing member wktarin
Insightful, as always.


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