Sunday, December 19, 2010

Review: In Constant Prayer, Robert Benson

In Constant Prayer
Robert Benson
Thomas Nelson
2008

In Constant Prayer is one of a series, The Ancient Practices Series, released lately in paperback by Thomas Nelson and I am glad. I had not seen the original hardcover versions of any of this series before. This particular one addresses the daily office, a practice familiar to many and unknown by others. I fell into the latter group, so what the author had to say was all new for me. For those of you who are familiar with the office this book will offer a most gentle encouragement to continue in your practice. For the rest of us the author walks us through his journey with the daily office including a short history of the practice.
Robert Benson explains the daily office to those that are unfamiliar with it through stories from his experiences with it. Early in the book I did not appreciate his way of doing things. I kept waiting for the magic bullet that would catapult me into some saintly realm with the pray-ers of old. As I settled into his rhythm of story I began to learn. My favorite chapter and my least favorite chapter are the same, chapter 7. Benson explores the reasons he used as excuses for not following through on his practice of the office. Of course, the point of his admissions becomes crystal clear quickly without offense.
The author explains the practice, does not skip the hard parts of getting started and staying on task, encourages his readers knowing that there will be times that just don’t click, recommends other readings for those that are interested, and includes a sample morning office to read through. In addition, there is a study guide. I would recommend this book wholeheartedly.
This book was provided to me by Thomas Nelson for review on BookSneeze.