Saturday, December 18, 2010

In Constant Prayer by Robert Benson

Some Christians have a prayer life that is one of close communion with God. Fixed hour prayer, or the daily office, is for the rest of us. It has sustained the life of the faithful and been a means of closer communion with God for centuries.

This ancient spiritual practice may be foreign to many so Benson notes its history. The idea of the daily office comes from Psalm 119: “Seven times a day I will rise to praise your name.” The first written form of the daily office dates to four thousand years before Christ.
Benson covers many of the obstacles one may encounter when beginning this discipline. He helps us get over the idea that the daily office is too “Catholic” for Protestants. He gives suggestions as to how to keep at the practice, day after day, and what to do when prayers are missed. He quotes Saint Benedict, “Always we begin again.”
Benson's book is a great encouragement to one who has had difficulty with prayer. Even though I may never be a great prayer warrior, I can be obedient to the daily discipline of prayer and follow the practice as have centuries of believers.
While Benson suggests resources (one of which is of his own creation), he fails to give any online sites with the daily office, of which I have found a few.
Benson's style is open, honest and light hearted. I get the impression that if someone as crazy as he is can do the daily office, so can I.
This book was provided for review by Thomas Nelson.
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