Sunday, November 30, 2014

Evening Prayers by Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt

About the book:
We want to turn to God at the close of each day, but often don't find the words to express our deepest feelings. This collection of prayers is one of the few daily devotionals especially intended for use in the evening. Blumhardt's words bespeak a certainty in God's nearness. The peace that flows from them comes from a firm conviction that God's kingdom is indeed on the way. In challenging times like our own, this reassurance can bring us serenity each evening of the year.

My review:
These prayers were written over a century ago. They were taken from the evening devotions Blumhardt held at Bad Boll in Germany and were gathered after his death. First published in 1971, this is a new and revised edition. A verse or two from the Bible is given and then the prayer, one for each day of the year.

I really liked the simple nature of the prayers. They are full of praise and thanks and are a great way to end the day. When he mentions suffering, it is with a view toward the coming kingdom. When he makes a petition, it is in a positive sense noting the good that will be done. When he mentions being tired or discouraged, it is accompanied by an acknowledgment of God's provision and strength. One gets a sense that God's kingdom is not something only in the future but is being worked out here and now as well.

This is a great collection of prayers with which to close each day. They are very positive yet without being overly emotional. They give a sense of trusting in God's presence and strength, and an assurance that He is working daily to bring His will to pass. Some Christians may be hesitant to use printed prayers but I found them to be very helpful. Sometimes at the end of the day my mind is too tired to concentrate, finding the right words to express myself to God. These prayers help me focus at day's end, thankful for what God has done and is doing. It is a good tool to help me just be quiet and reflect at the end of the day.

This is also a good book for those wanting to learn how to pray, since the prayers are good examples to follow.

Pastor Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt (1842-1919) was born in Mottlingen, Germany. He studied at university with a view to a Reformed pastorate. He became disillusioned with the church and theology, however, and returned home to Bad Boll. He became quite known as a mass evangelist and healer. He served a six-year term in the Wurttemberg legislature, having run on the Democratic Socialist platform. He became disillusioned with politics and did not run for another term.

Plough Publishing House, 408 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Handlebar for the purpose of an independent and honest review.

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