December 22, 2010

Book Review: In Constant Prayer

This book, In Constant Prayer, by Robert Benson is part of an 8 book series about The Ancient Practices of the church. In Constant Prayer, Benson “presents a structure for our lives where we can live in continued awareness of God’s presence and reality.”

The author discusses the ancient practice of fixed hour prayer, also known as liturgy of the hours, divine hours, or divine office. Benson gives a thorough overview of how this daily rhythm of prayer was practiced from the time of Christ and carried on into the early church up until recently.

Robert Benson states “It is worth noting, I believe that this tradition of daily prayer is one of the practices our modern Church does not do that the ancient Church did. We preach sermons, study the Scriptures, gather to worship on the Sabbath, teach our children the faith, and fellowship with one another-but we do not say our prayers.” (pg 63).

This book discusses the affects of prayer and Benson shares poignant examples from his life and others. It is not a “how to” but does include one example and a brief explanation of what part of an “office” is.

Benson brings out a few points in his gentle way that challenges the reader. On page 66 he states, “Of course, I personally would rather just talk to God when I want to, remind God of the things that personally matter to me the most, and then get on with the real world…”

He closes the book with the comment, “The life of faith is not about things we understand; it is about things we believe. It is less about the things we can know about God and more about the things that draw us to God.” (pg 150)

This book whets your soul for more and Benson includes an appendix with additional resources that will aid in the “how to”.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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