I’ve read a lot of different devotionals or daily prayer books, and there were always a few days in each one that would particularly resonate with me, and those are the ones that stay with me, but Prayer: 40 Days of Practice by Justin McRoberts and Scott Erickson felt like someone had taken all the best devotional days and put them into one book, because day after day I felt each one resonate in me and I am still praying the prayers and thinking about the words I read even now.
The Illustrations and The Writing
One of the things that I loved about this book was that each prayer was accompanied by an illustration, both overflowing with meaning, each complimenting the other. Words and visual art speak differently, and together in this book, they create a harmony that my eyes have rarely seen between word and image.
I am very much a “word” person, and yet Scott‘s images spoke to me; each one says at least 1,000 words, they’re so full of intricate meanings and symbolism.
The prayers are concise, deep, honest, direct, and simple. I not only prayed these prayers but much as the authors’ hoped, they were also a starting point, a point of reference, they gave me an invitation to pray.
This book is a piece of art.
This book is an act of love.
This book is a redemptive tool.
This book is a resource.
This book is deigned to stir, inform, and inspire you.
This book is not “content”.
The ongoing conversation between you and God is content. -Justin McRoberts
In this book, unlike most devotional and prayer books, the authors ask that you read as you can, as you feel, and as you want to; in other words, if you want to read the first prayer every day for a month then do it. If you want to read the whole thing in a day then do it. If you want to read a prayer a day for 40 days then do it. If you want to read one a week then do it. If you miss a day then it’s okay. If you miss lots of days then it’s okay.
There are 40 prayers and images so I plan on re-reading it for the 40 Days of Lent which is getting closer and closer. But my first read-through was really relaxed, and I forgot days and then I would read two or three, and sometimes I would go back and read one I had already read because it was still on my heart. This book all in all felt more like a tool for me to use in my prayer life, and less like something I needed to read and check off of a to-do-list— which I loved. It felt like an experience to be had, and less like something I had to read so I could check it off of my to-do list.
Because it isn’t the format of this book that matters most.
Nor is it the words in this book.
Nor its imagery.
What’s happening in you is what matters.
What’s happening in you is real content. -Justin McRoberts
If you don’t want to go get this book by the end of this review, then my review isn’t portraying this book very well at all. I highly recommend this book to you, your church, your Bible study or prayer group, or your family.
Readability — 5/5
Breadth / Depth of — Content 5/5
Helpfulness — 5/5