This cute little book has been bugging me for months. It’s been sitting on my shelf, mocking my reluctance to give a less-than-perfect review for a prayer book. Isn’t that terrible? Sigh.
First, I like the book. It’s cute. The cover is this leathersoft-like material with palm trees and a cool half-size dust jacket that reveals the leather while protecting it. It feels like a Bible.
Maybe that’s my problem.
Before I go on, I need to tell you that I’ve really struggled with my writing lately. I read amazing writers like Jolina Petersheim, Bodie Thoene, Pearl Allard, and Hulda Bennett, and I’m amazed by their ability and willingness to be transparent.
I’m the girl who never talked to my friends at lunch in high school because I just knew if I opened my mouth, nobody would listen. That, or they’d keel over because I’d spoken. If you were my friend in high school and I talked to you, you are a very special person. And chances are, I only talked to you individually.
Yes, children, your mama once was shy. Shocking, isn’t it?
Seriously, it isn’t easy for me to write publicly about anything personal. That one article about The Day My Husband Ignored My Huffs was like pulling a calf.
Ha. Not that bad. Anyway.
Back to the book. Enough procrastinating.
The reason I suspect I’ve been so reluctant to write this review is because it’s pretty revelatory about myself, and that’s not fun. But if you’re kind enough to read my writing, it’s only fair that I let you know me.
Okay. This book wasn’t my favorite for these reasons.
It felt commercial.
Maybe it was the luxurious binding that made it seem like it was trying to be a Bible. I don’t like books trying to look ultraholy when they’re just books.
Maybe it was the Scripture copyright – I really hate that people are prohibited from freely quoting Scripture, which is why I am in love with King James Scripture – which is completely free of copyrights and reads fine for even little kids (once you tell them “thee” means you personally, and “you” means you formally or as a group [like tu vs vous, tu vs. usted, etc.])
Modern commercial translations just can’t compete with the Authorized Version’s simplicity, beauty, or accuracy. Withhold your rotten cabbages. I love you.
So that’s a strike.
It felt artificial.
It’s not that I don’t like written prayers. What’s better than the Lord’s Prayer? I love the old Serenity prayer hanging in the local funeral home:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference…
I love the famous Peace Prayer:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
So why did I not just love these 365 Prayers since I like those?
I’m not sure. Maybe because it felt like I was reading someone else’s journal and being expected to say the same things.
In the above prayers, they’re general enough to be applicable. In this volume of 365 prayers, the author speaks from his heart. The author’s heart – not mine.
Like when one prayer says, “As a planner, I usually have a daily agenda, a detailed schedule, knowing what I’ll do and who I’ll see…” As a mother of eight, that doesn’t always apply. Then the prayer lists Bible characters with divine appointments. After a page of thoughts along these lines, it ends with a simple, “Make me sensitive, Lord, to your divine interruptions.”
Why does that bother me about this book of prayers? Because it’s not me! It’s not a prayer I would pray, other than maybe the last line. Which leads me to the last thing.
It feels preachy.
It does contain powerful prayers, which is why I haven’t wanted to write this less-than-stellar review. It’s just that it also holds so much devotional-type language that it feels like more of a sermon than a prayer. When I try to pray these prayers, I feel…fake. I much prefer writing my own prayers. They aren’t so perfect, but I don’t feel like I’m plagiarizing.
This review reveals more about me than this book. Sigh. This is why I haven’t wanted to write it. Praise Jesus for grace!
What would make me like this book?
Easy. If it were listed as a devotional rather than a prayer book. And if it used the King James. Talk about revolutionary. Whatever major publisher jumps on that will strike gold.
Who would like this book?
Probably a lot of people. It’s well-written by a prominent author. It offers 365 fresh prayers full of insight that will get you thinking.
And really, anything that gets us praying is worth its weight in gold. So for that reason alone, this book should get five stars. I can’t believe I said all the things I said earlier. Sigh.
I received this book gratis from Tyndale in exchange for my honest review. I sure hope they don’t regret it. I love you, Tyndale!
Gotta run. All this transparency is making me dizzy. God bless, and really – thanks for reading! You’re worth every blush.
Love, Rebekah 🙂