Prayer is probably my biggest difficulty in the Christian life. Yes, I struggle with sin. But communing with God is difficult. When I saw the book Beginning Prayer by John Killinger I knew I had to read it.
Published by Upper Room Ministries (which as far as I can tell through research is a division of the United Methodist Church), Beginning Prayer is an easy read book, the flavor almost reminds me of an old book. It is written in an almost conversational tone, or at least like a college lecture with your favorite professor.
It doesn’t matter at all in the grand scheme of things but at times I wasn’t sure if it was written by/to Catholics or by/to Protestants. It could work very well with either group. It lends itself to be very liturgical in nature.
The only thing I did not like about the book was he talks about chanting our prayers like one chants a mantra. Just a word or phrase over and over. He tells the story of one man who was given the task of praying “the prayer of Jesus” over and over, at first having to say it 30,000 times in a day. Within it week it was nearly tripled. Now he spends hours a day just chanting that one phrase. He also talked of prayer in silence and said we need to “rid our mind of everything.” That to me sounds a little too much like transcendental meditation. Which I’m not interested in at all.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of review.