[easyazon_image add_to_cart=”default” align=”left” asin=”0830835962″ cloaking=”default” height=”160″ localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61MGvoxdiSL._SL160_.jpg” tag=”douloschristo-20″ width=”107″]Imagination & Spirit: A Contemporary Quaker Reader[/easyazon_image]Page 2: Finding God in the Verbs – Review
Chapter 8 is “Beyond Words: Other Ways of Communicating – Or Not.” Some people would consider this muddling. The authors tackle our resistance to actually praying and then the business of obedience and surrender. Sometimes we don’t want to pray, or we want to resist doing that which we heard in our prayer time. Sometimes God seems far away and we wonder why bother. “We cannot find God if we invest just a small part of ourselves in prayer….so pray on. For the way to authentic Holy Conversations is only made by praying. And praying. And praying some more. A pilgrimage of prayer.” (141)
The book concludes in Chapter 9, “Gospel Means Good News: And News is New, by Definition.” The authors write, “When we pray we are creating. We are renewing the gospel for our times…Prayer also makes us new.” (148) As prayers have changed through this process, we too have been changed. “We have found that an active prayer life, even as hard as it is to maintain at times, feeds and nourishes our interior lives. We want to grow into spiritual adulthood.” (156)
As the book ends, the authors write these words to the reader: “To pray is take notice of the wonder, to regain a sense of mystery that animates all beings, the divine margin in all attainments. Prayer is our humble answer to the surprise of living.” (162)
If I wasn’t reviewing this book and under a timeline, I could see this book taking a large part of a year to complete. Going slow and methodical would be the key to getting the most from reading and contemplating. Working with a small group would encourage one to stay the course. A retreat setting could also focus on 1 or 2 chapters to begin the process.
As an introvert I have read many books on prayer. My extrovert friends have trouble with finishing one. With all the exercises in this one, it just may appeal to all personality types, although the completed journals may look radically different. I recommend this book to anyone who is seeking to strengthen their relationship with God.
Trish Edwards-Konic, is a Friends pastor, editor and writer.
C. Christopher Smith is the founding editor of The Englewood Review of Books. He is also author of a number of books, including most recently How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church (Brazos Press, 2019). Connect with him online at: C-Christopher-Smith.com
Reading for the Common Good
From ERB Editor Christopher Smith
"This book will inspire, motivate and challenge anyone who cares a whit about the written word, the world of ideas, the shape of our communities and the life of the church."
-Karen Swallow Prior
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