SUMMARY: A guileless book consisting of 40 short, beautiful prayers and accompanying artwork that is meant to be pondered. Author Justin McRoberts and illustrator Scott Erickson crafted Prayer, with minimal words, but an affluence of knowledge on prayer, liturgy, and prayer practices.
Interspersed throughout are six short stories, which they call meditations, that are paired with suggested prayer practices (journaling, exercise, fasting, meditation, lament and intercession). McRoberts and Erickson are clear that Prayer is not meant to be read in a linear fashion. They suggest leafing through the book, finding a prayer that interests you, and sitting with that prayer for days, weeks, or even months before moving on.
Prayers that we lingered on include prayers 12 and 13 in addition to prayers 25-29, with the latter prayers especially impacting us.
May the depth and energy— Prayer 25
of my criticism
Be at least equaled by the depth
of my commitment to help.
The only critique we have is we wish there were page numbers. This is a book that we reference often, and page numbers would make it much easier to find what we are looking for.
KEY QUOTE: “I believe I pray because I am human rather than because I am religious…Some primal thing urges me to search for and connect with the Divine.”
BONUS: Read the first few pages of Prayer courtesy of WaterBrookMultnomah.com (PDF).
BONUS II: Want to learn more? Listen to McRoberts talk about his book on the Grow Together podcast. Also, make sure to check out the short video by McRoberts and Erickson talk about their book.
DID YOU KNOW? Sunday to Saturday has a GoodReads page where we post all of the books we have read – even the ones that didn’t make the cut.
Our latest curated books on prayer:
What if prayer wasn’t a thing you put on your to-do list to knock off, but a practice you continually perform throughout every aspect of your life? What if prayer isn’t about communication with God, but communion? What if praying to God and its effectiveness has nothing to do with our devotion? Through 53-devotionals, Skye Jethani’s What If Jesus Was Serious About Prayer? slowly and deliberately challenges the reader to rethink how we view prayer while inviting us to enter into a deep communion with God.Read more
For those looking to dip their toe into a liturgical calendar and historical prayers, Common Prayer Pocket Edition: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals by Shane Claiborne and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove is a perfect introduction. The 11-page introduction succinctly explains why a book of common prayer is useful while quickly orienting the reader how to use the book.Read more
A beautiful book full of liturgies for individuals, couples, families, and congregations for any occasion including the mundane (the washing of windows) to the celebratory (leaving on a holiday) to the sorrowful (insoluble homesickness ) and everything in between (sleeping in tents). Douglas Kaine McKelvey has a knack for the right words for any situation.Read more