Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Book Review: Prayer for Beginners

Welcome once to my weekly review. I am currently working on reading and reviewing books from my current library, but have recently joined two review programs. Both of whom have sent me books to review. So I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of those books to read and review. In the study this week, I will be reviewing Prayer for Beginners by Peter Kreeft.

Peter Kreeft is a well-respected Philosophy professor and has written dozens of spiritual/Catholic books. I picked this book to review, because even at my age, I feel I am not as advanced in my prayer life as I would like to be or should be. So I figured, I should start at the most logical place, the beginning. Also, I picked this book up at a retreat I went on for catechists, for under $2! It was definitely a steal for the price.

In these 125 pages, you will find lots of good advice on why to pray, where to pray, how to pray, what to say, etc. Kreeft wisely encourages you to read this book slowly to get a lot of it. But I tried and just couldn't the book down for more than 5 minutes at a time. There are 18 chapters with almost all of them under 10 pages long, hence my problem reading it slowly.

I think my favorite part of this book is Chapter 9 "Jesus: The Shortest, Simplest, and Most Powerful Prayer in the World." In this chapter Kreeft, addresses a prayer that all Orthodox Christians know and every other Christian should know, and that is the Jesus Prayer. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner. This short, formulaic prayer has had many thick, and deep books written about it, but it is a beautiful and simple prayer we could all afford to take to heart and use whenever we have trouble expressing any needs that aren't expressible.

Overall, I would give this book 4 out of 5 stars. At times, Kreeft's sentence structure leaves a bit to be desired and can be distracting to me. But maybe that's just a flaw in my reading. I would definitely recommend this book to people no matter what point of the path they are on in their prayer life. Tune in next week as I review another beginners prayer book of the Orthodox persuasion, A Beginner's Guide to Prayer: The Orthodox Way to Draw Closer to God. Thank you for stopping by and reading.