John Smed – Journey in Prayer

Requested as an advance reading copy from NetGalley, this book is sub-titled 7 Days of Praying With Jesus.

I didn’t really know what to expect, and my initial judgements on the cover didn’t really match with what I got inside, if I’m honest I found the cover a little boring, and what was inside was anything but.

Each of the 7 days of the book covers a different section of the Lord’s prayer, breaking it down and getting into what each line actually means; what it meant at the time Jesus said it and how it still applies to our lives now. In the author’s words:

“In this prayer are seven requests. In this prayer is the secret to discovering the heart of God. To pray these seven requests is to journey deeper into life with God and deeper into life in the world.”

There were so many ‘aha!’ moments for me while going through this book, parts of the Lord’s Prayer that I’d never interpreted in that way before. It’s a simple sounding prayer that we pray all the time, but breaking it down and going through it over 7 days really helped me to understand what it is I’m actually praying, for example this quote from the “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” section:

“When we ask God to lead us not into temptation, we are praying that He will give us grace to face, courage to endure, and power to overcome every lie of the enemy that would cause us to question God.”

One of my favourite features of the book was the reflection space at the end of each day. Giving space for personal prayer and reflection on what we have just read, but also providing prompts and starters for those who either are unfamiliar to prayer or just unsure what to pray or can’t find the words.

I think this will be very valuable for both those who are new to praying and the Lord’s prayer, but also for those who have said the prayer so many times it has become almost routine.

I lost count of the amount of quotes that I highlighted through this book, but just know that if I put them all into this review, I’d probably be in danger of publishing the book myself!

One that really stuck in my mind from towards the end was this one:

“Prayer is like a spiritual space telescope, lifting us far above the earth’s perspective to see the entire cosmos similar to the way God sees it. As we pray, glimpses of invisible galaxies come into view.”

I also particularly loved the closing chapter, with all its comparisons to Lord of the Rings. The familiarity made me smile, but also really made me think.

I would really recommend this book to anyone whether they are just starting out praying or long-time Christians. I’ll definitely be recommending it to my church life group as a shared study, it was simply fantastic. The only thing I’d say is that I’d definitely suggest getting this book as a physical copy, not an ebook, as the reflection spaces would definitely benefit from being able to actually write in the book.

My rating: 5Average rating: 3.25
160 pages. Published in: 2020
Read in E-bookon 28th April – 4th May 2020

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