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Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Book of Not So Common Prayer

I am a sucker for nearly any book on prayer. If prayer is in the title, I'll at least read the jacket to see if it is truly something I want to read. The Book of Not So Common Prayer was just the thing I was looking for and I read it eagerly. Linda McCullough Moore has a conversational writing style that makes me wish I could have her come sit in my kitchen with a tall glass of iced tea and talk about prayer, pray, talk about prayer, and pray some more. I feel like we'd be friends, just based on this one book.

What I like best about the book is her practicality. She doesn't leave anything out of her descriptions, and she sets out to give instructions for prayer. As she talked about Brother Lawrence and his eight specific times a day for prayer, I could see her studying him and how he managed that, men don't multi-task that well, or so my husband says. I could also see her setting down a schedule that allowed her to pray four times a day. She took on different prayer "practices" to make her prayer life new and alive, she engaged herself into prayer with other believers to keep herself accountable, and she studied her own relationship to God in order to bring herself closer to Him. Her opinions and teachings so closely mirrored my own, that at times, I seemed superfluous even to myself. She encourages, cajoles, prods, urges, and all but begs us to bring our relationship with God to the fulness God deserves from us. She wants us to know Him, to walk with Him, to see His presence with us, and to hear Him. She wants us to be so immersed in Him, that our lives become prayers in and of themselves. The question of why she wants that is because this is what God wants, and in finding her heart's home with Him, she wants to share that.

Some of the prayer methods she uses are Lectio Divina, Contemplative Prayer, writing to God, listening to what God has to say to us, and living out our prayers. I haven't moved to pray four times a day like she has, but I do have my phone set up to remind me to pray for three friends who all have the same first name. An alarm goes off daily so that I will pray for them--it just happens to be Bugs Bunny saying, "Ooh, this looks like fun!" Whatever the tool, if it reminds me to get in touch with God, it's worth it.

The book is easy to read, but deep enough that it should be taken in short segments and digested. Easily Five Stars, Two Thumbs Up, and a postage-paid letter to God.

This book was provided by Abingdon Press through Netgalley.com for my honest, opinionated review. I was not compensated for my review.

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