Sunday, September 23, 2012

Book Review: A Beginner's Guide to Prayer

Welcome once again to my Study. For those of you who were here last week, you will recall that I reviewed Prayer for Beginners by Peter Kreeft. I thought it was only fair that I give a beginners prayer book from the Orthodox Tradition, the same amount of time so this week I tackled A Beginner's Guide to Prayer: The Orthodox Way to Draw Closer to God by: Michael Keiser. I have to admit that this book was easier to read and more helpful to me.

This 100 page book gets to the heart of the matter quickly. It starts with a very essential question of why we should pray and answers it beautifully with the words, "We pray as a response to love, and we pray in order to love." He then goes on to give practical advice of using the KISS method (Keep it short and simple) and setting up an icon corner in your house as a central point for prayer.

In the two longest chapters, Mr. Keiser deals with something we all struggle with when praying: distractions and demons. Distractions so far are the problem I have the most when praying. I might be encountering demons. I am unsure on that one, and don't want to speculate one way or the other. But these are two things that we all struggle with and must be aware of and fighting against in order to pray more effectively. He also reminds us not to get too cocky in our prayer life, as that is a sure fire way to slip up and fall.

Overall, I would give this book 5 out of 5 stars as it was a highly beneficial book to me, even though I am not Orthodox Christian. The language is clear. The message is solid. And it is just the right length for beginners, though you can still get something out of it if you are an intermediate or advance prayer. Stop by again next week as I review Night of the Confessor: Christian Faith in an Age of Uncertainty by Tomas Halik. See you next time!