Publishers Weekly Review of The Life of Prayer

The Life of Prayer: Mind, Body, and Soul Allan Hugh Cole Jr. Westminster John Knox, $16.95 paper (128p) ISBN 978-0-664-23069-2

Books about prayer tend to champion one modus operandi. Pastor and seminary professor Cole (Good Mourning: Getting Through Your Grief) invites readers to try several methods, offering a variety of aids for those who regularly struggle with prayer. Cole stresses the importance of prayer as encounter with God, examining its roots in both ancient and modern Christian theology and practice. He then proposes making prayer an intentional habit that “informs all that we do” in order to connect with God and the needs of others. Despite this call for a personal bond, Cole himself remains distant, overlooking more personal styles of prayer (e.g., talking to God as though he were a friend). Readers will find a thorough body of Scripture-based, liturgical methods as well as postures and settings to improve attentiveness, memory, and ability. Each chapter ends with a prayer and includes comforting verses for the prayer-wary reader. While the book doesn’t explain which prayers God answers, it aptly demonstrates prayer’s inherent benefits and the ease with which prayer may be engaged. (Apr.)


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