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Book Review

Timothy Jones
Workday Prayers

On-the-job meditations for tending your soul
ISBN 0-281-05435-5
SPCK, London, 2001, £8.99

(price at publication of review)

Reviewed January 2002; © Copyright, The Society of Saint Francis, 2001

The title and subtitle of this book really say it all. Timothy Jones shows deep understanding life in a hectic office and any other nine-to-five job which is demanding, engrossing and from time to time boring as well. It is a book to keep in the desk drawer or on the nearest shelf , available to take out in the coffee break or after the quick sandwich. Sunday worship may seem to provide little carry-over for the other six days of the week.

In the introduction, entitled 'Prayer and Work', Timothy Jones reminds us of what St Benedict taught - to work is to pray. Why are we inclined to forget that this applies to all of us? We can bring God into our workplace. Here is a plan for recovering the presence of God during the apparently relentless grind of work. We are offered simple guidelines - we do no need big blocks of time and total silence for prayer, a few minutes' pause may be enough for us to take a deep breath, raise our thoughts and let God in.

There is a page for each day, ( but never a page full of printed words) following the seasons of the year. First, a sentence or two for meditation, a prayer then a thought to keep in mind and return to later. The prayers are varied: familiar friends from the Book of Common Prayer, verses of psalms, passages from St Augustine, Julian of Norwich, Mother Teresa and many more, some written by the author.

My personal test was to see whether a prayer attributed to Sir Francis Drake 'that it is not the beginning of any great matter but the continuing of the same until it be thoroughly finished, which yields the true glory' is included - and there it is, part way through Autumn,

This is a thoroughly practical, reassuring and yet challenging book which I am glad to have, but which would have been even more appreciated when I was at my office desk.

Joyce Baird





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