Wednesday, April 1, 2015

"A Year of Living Prayerfully" Book Review (A MUST READ BOOK)

If you read my blog, you know I review a lot of books.  Most of them get good reviews.  (After all, I get to choose the books I want to review, so why would I choose a book I think I'm going to hate?)  But there are a few books that I consider a MUST READ.  For example, in the children's category, I consider The Jesus Storybook Bible a must read.  In the marriage category, The Fruitful Wife and Fierce Women are must reads.  And in the "autobiography/biography/hysterically funny, yet capable of making you weep" category is "A Year of Living Prayerfully: How a Curious Traveler Met the Pope, Walked on Coals, Danced with Rabbis, and Revived His Prayer Life." Its a definite, for sure, absolutely, undeniable MUST READ!!!!

I really can't say enough about this book.  Its the story of Jared Brock's one year journey around the world to study the prayer habits and beliefs different Judeo-Christian groups.  As the title suggests, he spend time with Jewish rabbis, fire walkers, Greek Orthodox monks, and even met the Pope!  His stories are both hilarious and touching.  Mr. Brock has a way of really bringing you into the journey with him.  I laughed hysterically at his gaffes at the Jewish Passover dinner (knowing that I would have made some of the same mistakes), nearly snorted my coke when he described his wife's mikvah experience (think "holy skinny-dipping") and cried when he talked about George Muller's sixty-three year, eight month long prayer for an unsaved friend.  I was angry, as Jared was angry, when he described the meeting he had with members of a certain hateful so called "church" that has made a name for itself by picketing funerals.  And I laughed so hard I nearly fell out of my seat when he described his "chant" during his fire walk across flaming hot coals.

(By the way, speaking of his chant, this brings me to another interesting thing about Jared's book - the footnotes.  While the footnotes in most books are sited references from other works, Jared's footnotes are more of "extra comments" of his own, sometimes adding a little historical context and sometimes just adding another coca cola-snorting laugh. So when you read this book - and you MUST READ THIS BOOK - please do not forget the footnotes!!!)

I really can't say enough about "A Year of Living Prayerfully."  Its beautifully written, touching, insightful, and hilarious.  It will make you rethink prayer.  It will make you rethink your relationship with God.  It will touch your heart.  And so I'd like to end this review with a few of my favorite quotes from the book:
"In silence, we commune with Christ.
God didn't speak to Elijah in the wind, the earthquake, or the fire. He spoke to him in a 'still small voice,' what one commentator calls 'a voice of gentle silence.'
If two people sat down for dinner and both of them talked the entire time, how much would they hear of the other person's point of view? Silence is a gift that allows us to turn a monologue into a dialogue. Without silence, there is no conversation. Without silence, we miss a large part of what God has to say."
"Prior to my year of living prayerfully, prayer was simply asking for the keys to the car and money for the mall. Now, I'm just trying to hang out with Dad."
"I've come to realize that prayer is the main dish, and everything else is gravy.I am convinced that prayer can change everything. We must never take prayer lightly - every prayer has the potential to change the course of history."
I received a copy of this book, free of charge, from Tyndale Blog Network, in exchange for my honest review.

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