by Deacon Greg Kandra
Reviewed by Eileen Quinn Knight, Ph.D. Profiles in Catholicism
This is a 132-page book with a great deal of resources about prayer. It starts with the author’s mother teaching him the prayer “Angel of God,” and so it begins. The book is intended to offer a plan of action—a way to pray when you feel you just can’t. Building a st4eady and fulfilling prayer life can be done even if you think it can’t. The author provides helpful handrails along our journey. Each chapter concludes with some thoughts on prayer from people you know by faith perhaps saints or people you’ve met. The author has also included some action items to get your prayer muscles in shape, and a brief prayer of my own to help put into words what we are trying to do.
The book does not offer heavy theology or philosophy. He does not quote exhaustively from encyclicals or other documents. The author is a storyteller, preacher, and deacon. He takes us through his experience of Gethsemane and what it means to be on retreat with the monks. He lets us know that there are many reasons for praying: praise, petition, and thanksgiving. He gives us wonderful examples of praise, petition, and thanksgiving and implores us to try all three. Praying with hearts full of hope, we express to our god our gratitude and our thanksgiving for his attention, his goodness, his tender compassion, and his love. Kandra states that we begin to have a prayer life, first and foremost by wanting it! He expresses the need to keep our prayer life simple so that it is our constant conversation with Christ. Once you form the habit of prayer, it continues and often becomes lengthier. Everything we do can be an act of prayer. He relates prayers of silence, prayer before meals, prayers of family and friendship. The author directs us to sanctify the world in your everyday life.
This a glorious readable book that gives ways to start and continue the prayer. The essays are short and to the point in helping us create that relationship with our God. It is a good book about prayer for everyone.