Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A Year of Living Prayerfully (Book Review)

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book, at no cost to me, in exchange for my honest review.

From the publisher:
Is Anyone Listening? Do My Prayers Really Change Anything?

While filming a documentary about sex trafficking, Jared and Michelle Brock felt a deep need for prayer in their personal lives. In an effort to learn more about prayer, the couple traveled the globe, exploring the great Judeo-Christian prayer traditions: in mountains and monasteries, in Christian communities and cathedrals, standing up and lying down, every hour and around the clock. Follow Jared on a 37,000-mile trip around the world as he . . .
  • Dances with Hasidic Jews in Brooklyn
  • Discovers the 330-year-old home of Brother Lawrence
  • Plants prayer bombs in North Korea
  • Burns his clothes at the end of the world
  • Attends the world’s largest church
  • Attempts fire walking (with only minor burns)
Although up to 90% of us pray, very few of us feel like we’ve mastered prayer. A Year of Living Prayerfully is a fascinating, humorous, globe-trotting exploration of prayer that will help you grow your own prayer life. Jared’s witty reflections on his fast-paced journey will both entertain and inspire you to think about your own prayer journey. Join Jared on a rollicking modern-day prayer pilgrimage . . . you’ll never pray the same again.
"What does prayer mean to you?"  This is the question that author Jared Brock posed to the people he met on his journey.  He met these people at the places you'd expect--a synagogue, the Vatican, a Quaker meetinghouse.  He also met them at places you wouldn't expect, such as a nudist church.  After each conversation, Brock tells the reader what he learned about prayer and how he would (or would not) incorporate it into his own prayer life.

As he visited each person and each place, Brock and his wife Michelle learned about and experienced the culture as much as they could.  (Well, they opted not to attend a service at the nudist church.)  He participated in Passover meals, stayed at a monastery, and attended a Benny Hinn event.  These places and events are described in enough detail that I felt as though I'd been there.

Along the way, he and Michelle also visited historical sites, such as the Cave of St. Francis (of Assisi) and the home of John Wesley.  Again, the author provides details to make the reader feel as though he or she had been along for the trip.

A Year of Living Prayerfully is written in a conversational and witty tone.  I laughed as I learned, and I read quite a few passages to my husband and my son.  The culture and the history were very interesting for me.  The author takes on North Korea, where Christianity is banned and he was practically forced to bow down to the preserved body of "Great Leader" Kim Il-sung.  He also describes his visit to the well-known Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas.  I wouldn't go to either of those places, so I was glad to have his first-hand view of the inside workings.

If I could change one thing about this book, it would be to add an index.  When I wanted to go back to the section about Brother Lawrence and didn't remember that he'd lived in France, I had to flip through all of the chapters about Europe.  (I knew he didn't live in Korea or the United States.)

You might also be interested to know that 100 percent of Jared Brock's royalties are donated to missions and ministry.

Links for more information:
* If you click through my Amazon.com affiliate link and complete a purchase, I will receive a small commission.  Thank you for supporting my blog!

1 comment :

  1. This sounds a little like Eat, Pray, Love.
    Thanks for sharing


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