Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Book Review: Praying in the Messiness of Life, by Linda Douty

The title was appealing. Whose life doesn’t seem messy at times? Following a transformative experience at a Walk to Emmaus retreat years ago, I found myself wanting to pray and study more regularly and more effectively than I previously had. I struggled to find ways to do that in the midst of a busy life, and having now discovered Douty’s book, wish it had been available to me then.

I immediately identified with Douty, admiring her honesty in admitting she at first just tried harder, to reach the closeness with God that she sought. She asks, “How can I open myself to growth in this crazy, busy life? What can I actually do, rather than constantly wishing it would change?” Her book explores a variety of approaches to prayer that are extraordinarily accessible, and practical, and really make a difference.

For example, I recently needed to walk a short distance from one building on the campus of my workplace to another. Instead of just walking along, anticipating the upcoming staff meeting, I deliberately prayed a version of Douty’s syncopated steps from the chapter on Praying with the Body. With each step, I prayed, “Fa-ther, Son and Ho-ly Ghost. Fa-ther Son and Holy Ghost.” When I found myself distracted a couple times, I let it go and returned to my prayer. What an invigorating walk that turned out to be! My attitude at the meeting and through the rest of my day was far different than it otherwise would have been. Such a simple approach to prayer, and it fit right in to the busyness of my day.

Douty’s presentation of dozens of simple approaches to prayer will help any believer draw nearer to God, in a relationship that becomes more and more in depth as it becomes more and more a part of every moment of one’s busy life.

I received this book free from Upper Room Books as part of their Book Review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

No comments:

Post a Comment