Monday, February 21, 2011

Book Review: In Constant Prayer

I just finished reading In Constant Prayer by Robert Benson and I thought this book was fantastic. This is one of the 8 books in the Ancient Practices series and in this installment, Robert Benson unpacks a structure for our lives where we can live in continued awareness of God's presence.
Benson does a great job of unpacking the daily office. Personally, I wasn't too familiar with the daily office, but I am now! The daily office, in simplest of terms, is a regular pattern and order for formal worship and prayer that is offered to God at specific times throughout the course of the day. Each set of prayers, known as an office, is made up of psalms, scriptures and prayers.
Not only does Benson unpack the structure of the daily office, he also unpacks the importance of the office. It is humbling to think that people have been praying these prayers at fixed hours of the day for thousands of years and we have the opportunity to take part in this great tradition. He really drives home the point that we can talk about prayer and break down the structure of prayer but at some point, high-minded discussion about our life of prayer has to work its way into the dailiness of our lives. At some point, we need to move from talking about prayer to saying our prayers so that the divine moments will be possible and have a chance to appear.
I also love how Benson clear states that there will be some divine moments in our prayer lives when we come face to face with God, but in order to get to those divine encounters there will be a lot of moments when we don't hear from God...and that is normal. He stresses that in order to be a person of have to start praying and what better way to implement prayer than to start praying!
Benson also points out, and I am guilty of this, that most of our prayers are for us. We spend a great deal of time and energy telling God all of the things that God already knows and is already working on in our behalf, in ways far better than we can desire or pray for, those prayers are for us, the prayer of the office is for God.
All in all, I really enjoyed this book. Robert Benson did a great job of opening my eyes to a world of prayer that I was not aware of...and this world of prayer has been going on for thousands of years. This is one ancient practice that I plan on starting in my own life!
I recieved this book for free through blogger program. I was not required to write a raving review, the opinions expressed are my own.

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