Discoveries in Prayer Vols I and II

Columban Fr Malachy Hanratty, who spent most of his missionary life in Japan, has kindly made his popular book, Discoveries in Prayer, published in 2007, available in booklet format. Volumes I and II can be downloaded for free on this page. (See below)

According to Fr Malachy, booklets are easier to carry around and helpful for certain prayer-times.

Discoveries in Prayer, he explains, is about finding foundational contact with the Supreme Being. It is pre-Scriptural, pre-catechetical. Hopefully it will lead to those. It is fruitful for ‘Dialogue with other Religions’ which Vatican II emphasised.

There is a quick explanation of the contents in the ‘Explanation to these two booklets’ at the beginning of each volume.

The original book, Discoveries in Prayer,was published by Columba Press. A Japanese edition went into a second printing.

Discoveries in Prayer was the fruit of a summary of talks given about praying and drawing hearers to discover new experiences in prayer.

It also encouraged hearers to share experiences with one another leading to receiving deeper fruit. It stays with the basic movement of the ‘human person’ being drawn to the Loving, Creating and Saving Being outside ourselves. Here it does not go on to specific revelation but is a good help for that ‘journey’.

Here is a brief description of the contents of each booklet.

Part 1 develops a greater awareness of, and a growing relationship with, God in our ordinary daily lives. In our habit of special Prayer-time we are led from talking to the God we have heard about to discovering and meeting our God in events of our daily lives. We are helped to wait in openness to notice ‘God at work’ in those events.

In prayer-time we can meet God in ‘events of our History’. Also Meeting God in Nature can become so fruitful. Discovering more positive things leads to a more thankful relationship to God. I am on the way to accepting that I – and everyone – is important to God! For times of need or sufferings or even protesting, we are able to go back to the God we met before’ and begin our talk about it to ‘our own God’, waiting in trust.

Part 2 covers Chapters 8 to 15 in the original book. It focuses on ‘petition’ and, through it, growing closer to God and also growing closer to others. I am now better able to talk to ‘my own God.’ But I must remain alert to how I am talking to God about my want and not just ‘talking to myself about the want’ or talking to the ‘Want’. Also I must grow in awareness that only God can help, but it will be in His way and time! But perseverance in asking gives greater closeness and trust.

No 9 looks at the concrete experience of Meeting God in a Painful Experience. From it I learned so much; I began to notice change in myself, happening both from the experience and by much reflection on it.

In No 10 we see more how deepening the prayer of Petition can lead to fruitful self-knowledge. The book continues helping with Relationships, Forgiveness, Spiritual Sharing, and the potential of such, small or large, groups to influence Communities.


Booklet I

Download it for free hereDiscoveries In Prayer (Part One) for website pdf


  1. The Good Things Prayer
  2. About the Good Things Prayer
  3. A Longer Good Things Prayer
  4. Finding Messages from God in my own History
  5. Meeting God in Nature
    A Sharing
  6. Reviewing Prayer Exercises and Ways of Praying
  7. Meeting my own God

Booklet II

Download it for free here: Discoveries In Prayer (Part Two) for website

  1. Asking My Own God for help
    Prayer of Petition (Part 1)
  1. Meeting God in a Painful Experience
  2. Showing God what I really want
    Prayer of Petition (Part 2)
  1. The ‘But start with me’ Prayer praying for another person to change
  1. Prayer & Forgiveness
  2. Sharing about our Spiritual Journeys
    Help for one another
  1. For Groups
  2. Background to this book and programme