Doors into Prayer - An Invitation
ISBN 0 232 52502 1
DLT, London, 2003, £6.95
Quiet Spaces - Prayer Interludes for Busy Women
ISBN 1 84101 339 0
BRF, Oxford, 2003, £5.99
(prices at publication of review)
Reviewed September 2004; © Copyright, The Society of Saint Francis, 2004
These two small books will have considerable appeal for people at different stages and with varying needs in their relationship with God. Either may be dipped into for very short times during the day.
Emilie Griffin in Doors into Prayer gives short introductions to many facets and possibilities for prayer, and points up the need for some structure and discipline. She suggests how the small free times need not be lost. If we want to pray, here are ideas for making the most of even a few minutes, knowing that the tiniest offering is acceptable to God who invites and encourages us.
She does, however, give leads into spending more time and suggests books for further reading. The sample exercises at the end of the book take from twenty minutes to over an hour and range from 'lectio divina' - prayerful reading - to Ignatian type meditation.
(Quiet Spaces by Patricia Wilson is intended for busy women, but might equally be used by men. In her introduction she builds an image of how our day consists largely of things that must or could be done; and suggests that the spaces in between are still useable and can be restful.
The book then comprises prayer samples for almost every contingency common to us, from relationship problems to celebrations. Samples follow a pattern: beginning with a psalm verse evidencing God's power in the situation envisaged; then a centring - a minute of quiet and consideration, preceding free prayer and expressing our need. Next comes an appropriate word of Jesus from the gospels to which we pay heed before returning to the present. We all have different experience and what suits one may not suit another; but many have found it helpful to have words given for prayer about a specific need, especially if feeling tongue-tied or unused to addressing God.)
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