Heart Fire

Adventuring into a Life of Prayer

Johannes Hartl


Pages: 224
ISBN: 978-1-910012-52-9
Publication Date: 22/06/2018

Every hour of prayer is an invitation not to hold onto my own story, but to let go of it and become part of the One Great Story.
Johannes Hartl

What is prayer? How does it work? And does it even help at all? These are questions that Johannes Hartl has spent his life exploring, finding answers through encounter, experience and often through travel – a journey of discovery that has taken Hartl into the very heart of prayer, and the very heart of God. Join him on this exciting adventure and catch fire for a life of prayer yourself.

Format: Paperback

What is prayer? How does it work? And does it even help at all? Where do we start and where will it lead? These are questions that Johannes Hartl has spent his life exploring. Questions that have found their answers through encounter, experience and often through travel – a journey of discovery that has taken Hartl into the very heart of true prayer.

Weaving together stories of individuals, movements and moments he has encountered across the world, Hartl invites you to join him on an incredible adventure. Exploring different approaches to prayer, such as contemplative, intercessory, creative, powerful and revelatory prayer, Hartl encourages us to rediscover the true heart of prayer – a God who hears us and wants to speak to us.

For those who want to experience the power of prayer or who are struggling to pray, this book is full of thoughtful insights and wisdom, combined with reflective applications which will inspire and challenge readers to catch the fire for a life of prayer themselves.

What people are saying

A note from Muddy Pearl

January 2020. Ladies desert camp, somewhere in the Middle East. As we queue in the shade of the tea tent, the wind brushes soft sand down the dunes and the sun paints the sea a brilliant turquoise. Strains of South African and Indian accents mingle over the shush of the waves. A friend offers me a slug of some realmilk she has begged from the kitchen caravan. Just then, a woman from Nigeria takes my elbow, ‘I have to talk to you’. I brace slightly: will this be enthusiastic author or critical reader? ‘It’s about that book I bought from you last year’ Ah, what might have offended? What context should I explain? It is never easy to communicate spiritual writing across cultures. But her sincere expression breaks into a broad smile, her intelligent eyes shining behind rather trendy glasses, ‘It is really amazing. I have loved it. The writing is so creative, so different, so inspiring. And to think that this, all this prayer, is going on in Germany, right now. It is just about the best book I have ever read.’I breath relief and we begin to share our favourite passages, as my bemused friend stands by, plastic cup of milk patiently poised to pour into my tea.

A few months earlier, I spotted an old friend at a conference, who literally bounded over saying ‘That book! I have savoured, absolutely devoured it, page by page, word by word. It is wonderful. Thank you, thank you.’As an academic, someone who reads for work, I value this opinion even more.

All good comments, nice to hear, you might think. But most publishers will tell you, the number of times we receive unsolicited feedback for any book, no matter how good – well they are like gold dust. And we love them because it’s these that help to confirm, no, it’s not just me, not just wishful thinking or my imagination, as I send this book hopefully out into the world, it really is thatgood.

If you haven’t yet discovered the creative and inspiring work of this stunning new – well, new in English – writer, then may I commend him to you. I have been living, breathing and working with the words and ideas of Johannes Hartl for the three years or so, since I stumbled upon it at the Frankfurt bookfair, when the German rights manager, surprised to be asked about English language rights (‘But everyone knows, the British never translate…) said, O, well, if you like prayer then you should really look at Johannes Hartl’) and then heard him speak at the 24-7 Prayer gathering in Geneva (I can still remember the talk he gave, ‘A beautiful waste’.) And it has been a huge privilege. It has been a spiritual retreat, an inspiration, and I would count his works among my favourites of all I have worked on.

And Heart Fire is a gem of a book. It’s a spiritual travelog, a memoir, an adventure in prayer and around the world. Each story, like the beads on a rosary, tells of an encounter around the world and a discovery of prayer. And it communicates beautifully across cultures and time zones. Two of my favourites, ones I come back to again and again are : ‘Bomber in Paradise, the story of the bus queue in a village in Crete, the last will be first, and ‘Kabbalat Shabbat’, of the wailing wall and being accidentally included in a group of men at prayer.

Stephanie Heald

Additional information


The Question
Enigma of Light
Here and Now
The Explosion
Break Out of the Normal
The Call
The Great Journey
The Endless Onion
The Great Mystery
By Unfair Means
Song in the Night
One Bride
Abundant Life
The Kiss
The Game


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Weight 323 g




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About the author

Johannes Hartl
Johannes Hartl

Johannes Hartl is a passionate storyteller who loves to communicate the heart of God. In 2005, he and his wife, Jutta, founded the House of Prayer, Augsburg. He is the author of numerous books and an international conference speaker, renowned for bringing spiritual depth along with humorous insight and practical application. He holds a PhD in Catholic Theology and has earned his degrees in German langauge and Literature Studies, as well as Philosophy. Johannes lives in Augsburg with his wife and their four children.

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