Thursday, June 26, 2014
'The Book of not so common Prayer' by Linda McCullough Moore
Do you want to pray deeper, longer, more fervently? Do you want to move from the same old, same old prayer routine to a radical, challenging, and inspiring prayer life? Do you want to put more meaning and effort into your conversations with God?
The Book of Not-So Common Prayer is a handbook that combines spiritual insight with practical action steps you can take to change your prayer habits—and change your life. In describing her own transformation from a person who prayed on the run to a person who prays four times a day, Linda McCullough Moore builds a compelling case for a life founded on prayer. Drawing inspiration from the ancient practice of meditation, Moore shows how any time spent in prayer will transform the time you spend with your family, at work, or in play. She then delivers a well-supported methodical process you can follow to experience more depth, meaning, and joy in your prayers. A masterful blend of useful models and stories of transformation, this beautifully written, evocative, and intelligent handbook will inspire you to embark on a new adventure in faith . . . one step at a time.
Linda McCullough Moore was inspired by the life and habits of Brother Lawrence to ramp up her prayer life, and shares the results in this interesting and varied book. None of us want to utter routine prayers. We all long for heart engagement, and she's full of ideas of how to achieve this.
I like her emphasis on the fact that God does not bless us based upon our personal efforts but completely because of who He is. It takes a burden off us that we shouldn't have ever taken on. She urges us to view prayer as a spiritual connection with our living God, rather than pulling teeth. For those who face prayer as a chore to get over and done with, she challenges us to see that it should be approached as natural, because it's the way human beings were wired.
Moore shares her creative ways of going about it. She collects prayers of the saints, she prays scripture, she sings, contemplates, meditates, and uses the written word, candles and charts.
Some of her advice will suit those searching for something practical, such as telling us to accept that our 'to do' lists will never be complete, so while we're whittling away at them, we'd do well to keep our main focus on our relationships with God and others. She recommends ways to make time for prayer and reflection, when it already seems to be full of other things.
Every so often she made statements which made me think, such as suggesting that instead of commiserating with people who tell us that they've been too busy to pray, we should encourage each other to keep pushing in. It should be the most important aspect of life, which she backs up by quoting 1 Samuel 12:25, 'I would never sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you.'
It's an easy, helpful read with moments of sudden conviction.
I received a copy from Net Galley and Abingdon Press in return for an honest review.
The Book of Not So Common Prayer: A New Way to Pray, A New Way to Live available from Amazon