Want to kickstart your Lent? Boost your prayer life? Support your local blogging deacon?
I’m pleased and humbled to announce that the good people at Word Among Us have just published my new book, “The Busy Person’s Guide to Prayer.”
From the introduction:
Let’s face it: in a world where soccer practice, work, the gym, PTA meetings, school projects, Twitter, and Netflix dominate our lives, it can be challenging and seemingly impossible to find time to pray. There are deadlines to meet, bills to pay, babies to diaper, reports to file, gardens to weed, emails to answer, groceries to buy. And praying? Talking to God? Amid the stresses and strains of daily life, many of us take God’s name in vain, if we mention him at all.
We want to pray, but who has the time?
Well . . . you. You do. Yes, you. The busy person who can’t find your keys or this week’s grocery list can, in fact, find time to pray. It is not impossible. If you’re reading this right now, you want to know how you can do what you feel called to do, what you want to do, but that you somehow can’t find the opportunity to do: pray. To offer up a good word to our good God. To stay connected to the Creator in a way that is fruitful and intimate and will nourish the soul—and just maybe do some good.
How can I do that? you’re wondering. Glad you asked.
This little book is intended to offer a plan of action—a way to pray when you feel you just can’t. (Yes, you can. Really.)
Building a steady and fulfilling prayer life can be done, even if you think it can’t.
But be forewarned: I offer here no magic formulas, no easy solutions. This isn’t like one of those diets where you can “sleep” the pounds away. You will have to do some work. But as St. Ben- edict put it when he wrote his famous Rule, I’m hoping this won’t be “harsh or burdensome.”
To that end, I’ll be providing helpful handrails along the way to guide us on this journey. Each chapter concludes with some thoughts on prayer from people you know by faith (saints and popes, for example) and people you may not know—friends and acquaintances of mine who offer their own words of wisdom on the subject of prayer. I’ve 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.
I don’t intend to ladle out heavy theology or philosophy; I’m not going to be quoting exhaustively from encyclicals or treatises; I won’t be dissecting the mind of Aquinas. That’s not me. I’m just a writer, journalist, blogger, storyteller, preacher, husband, and deacon.
And I’m a busy person who is still trying to make time to pray. It isn’t easy. Believe me, I know.
But this book, I hope, will offer some ideas on how to get started. The best prayer is an act of boundless surrender and joy, communicating with God in a way that is unique, intimate, and utterly honest. It is an act of love. And at its root, it really should be deceptively, almost shockingly, simple.
I hope you’ll find this to be a helpful handbook that will encourage more prayer—a paperback stepping-stone that will, as a famous prayer to the Holy Spirit puts it, “Enkindle . . . the fire of God’s love.”
Ready to strike a match and start the flame?
Then let us pray.
This is very much a labor of love for me, and one I hope will give reassurance and practical advice to all of us who want to pray but can’t seem to find the time to do it.
You can find “The Busy Person’s Guide to Prayer” (n.b.: on discount right now!) at the Word Among Us online bookstore (where you can also read an excerpt).
And: if you’re attending this year’s LA Religious Education Congress, drop by the Word Among Us booth. I’m told they’ll have it available there, too!