Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Book Review of A Guidebook to Prayer by MaryKate Morse

A Guidebook to Prayer: Twenty-Four Ways to walk with God
by MaryKate Morse
ISBN 978-0-8308-3578-2
IVP Formatio
Reviewed by Clint Walker

There are several books around about prayer and spiritual formation. There are very few books that have been put out on prayer from a broader, spiritual-formation model that are both as well-written and grounded, as well as easy to use in a group or mentoring study as A Guidebook to Prayer.

MaryKate Morse has thoughtfully grounded her discussion of practices of prayer in the Trinity. Balancing discussion of prayer in community and prayer that is more commonly practiced individually, the breadth of this rather simple guide and/or curriculum is wonderful. It will have a great impact on teaching people to pray, and to think about prayer so they can pray more intentionally. And much like my reading of books by Richard Foster on prayer and spiritual formation, it will teach its readers many of the ways that they may be praying already without knowing that they are doing it.

Each chapter has a short article describing the prayer practice that will be implemented. Then there is a rather lengthy section on how to practice this kind of prayer within a community gathering. Then, there are guidelines for partners or individuals to practice this form of prayer as well.

Nearly every page of the book has quotes integrated as side notes within the book. These notes are comments of real people who have made the effort to practice the kind of prayer that Morse describes. Their comments and insights make the material more down to earth and attainable. Further testimonies end each chapter, as well as suggestions for further reading.

My goal is to get either my Sunday School class or a small group in my church to embrace this study. It would be exciting to see what God would do.

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