Five and a half years ago our family piled into a mini-van and drove cross country — Maine to Seattle, south to Arizona, and then in a zig-zagging joy ride back to Maine. Four boys, two parents, one tent, six sleeping bags, and five weeks of freedom on the road. It becomes a better memory every year, and one of the sweetest recollections for me is the memory of falling asleep every night with the words of the Lord’s prayer as an outline for my quiet, day’s-end meeting with God. Although I had feared that lack of solitude and our crazy schedule would wreak havoc with my prayer life, it led to the gift and surprise of a deeper experience.
Praying Scripture is only one of the twenty-one strategies Kathryn Shirey introduces in Pray Deep, but it’s definitely my favorite. Many of her suggestions will be familiar to her readers: praying a song, lectio divina, the ACTS template. What makes this collection unique is Kathryn’s conviction that prayer is a priority and, since there is no scripturally specified “methodology” for prayer, we are free to view our communication with God as a living and fluid dialogue. For some, journaling written prayers will serve as a means of recording requests and answers and of being intentional in meeting with God. For others, drawing and doodling while praying is a way of remaining focused.
I appreciated Kathryn’s inclusion of an excerpt from The Book of Common Prayer in each chapter. I’m hooked, so I downloaded the free version onto my Kindle as a launch pad for deep and meaningful prayer. Pray Deep encouraged me to try different approaches to prayer, and now they are in my arsenal, not only for myself, but also as a suggestion for people who are seeking advice for revitalizing their prayer life.
By emphasizing the importance of communication with God, Pray Deep has encouraged me in the discipline of making prayer a regular part of every day. The point is to connect with God, to be intentional in building that most important relationship, and to enjoy the glory of God’s unwavering attention.
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