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A Year of Living Prayerfully: How A Curious…

A Year of Living Prayerfully: How A Curious Traveler Met the Pope, Walked… (2015)

by Jared Brock

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This was definitely a unique book which will make it appeal to some. However, I'm not sure that the reader will learn much about Christian prayer, the subject of the book. It is more of a study in the traditions and practices of various religious denominations and some cults. It is interesting none-the-less but my concern is that it might lead some people down some dangerous paths. Christians who are not grounded in the Word might be side-tracked to pursue some of these extra-biblical ideas which wouldn't help them grow in spiritual maturity and could be a distraction.

Brock and his wife travelled to many countries of the world during his year of living prayerfully. They investigated prayer practices in the places they went to and took part in the religious customs as they went. This included attending a Benny Hinn meeting, walking on coals, a visit to Westboro Baptist church, going to North Korea, meeting the Pope and somehow having lunch with him and a number of other things.

Brock entered fully into his experiment and took part in a lot of rituals that were questionable for me. He resisted the command to bow before an idol in North Korea but participated in a lot of other mystical practices and superstitions that I would personally have avoided. Whilst protestant himself he seems to have no issues with ecumenism and quotes a number of mystics, catholics and cult leaders. The question really is how far one should go in attempting to learn how to pray ...

Brock adopted some of his new discoveries into his daily prayer routine including a lot of time in silence. Each person needs to work this out for themselves before God but contemplative spirituality was stamped on quite a lot of this book. Whilst Brock avoids and rejects some of the extremes he encounters, he doesn't seem to be aware of other potential dangers.

A reader might enjoy this for the historical research value particularly as he visited some hard to reach places and shares how customs have advanced over the years. Brock writes in an easy to read, casual style, I didn't find his humour that amusing but others might.

I don't recommend this as a guide to learning how to pray. Prayer is simply a means of communicating with God. We have enough examples in Scripture and I don't think we need to make it complicated or follow rituals. Christians may want to read this book for the travel/history aspect but just be wary of being unduly influenced. It is clean--there is no bad language, violence or sexual content. ( )
  sparkleandchico | Jun 2, 2017 |
First of all, let me tell you again–this review is for the Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for an honest review. I’m telling you now, first, so that I don’t forget; and secondly, because I bought the Kindle version when it went on sale. I WILLINGLY bought this, so I have two copies.

I love memoirs, and since I’ve been trying to sort out myself spiritually for a while now, I’m intrigued by people for whom faith seems to come more easily or for people who are trying to figure things out too.

“We wanted to be prayer warriors, but we felt like prayer wanderers.” Have you ever felt this way? Goodness knows, I have and do. The journey that Jared and Michelle Brock went on to spark their faith and joy in prayer was a pilgrimage filled with laughter and well, prayer. ( )
  gentlespirit512 | Nov 22, 2016 |
Brock spends a year exploring various ways of praying, including Jewish traditions, Greek Orthodox traditions, Catholic traditions, and Protestant traditions. It’s not an objectively told tale, not an NPR sort of report, so don’t expect that. And it’s not a story that takes in non-Christian prayer, so don’t look for that either. It is, however, a fully-satisfying look at one man’s attempt to go deeper into a relationship with God. And parts will make you laugh out loud. And other parts will make you pause to think. And pray. ( )
  debnance | Sep 27, 2015 |
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For my grandfather Clarence Black. The sun has not risen a day in my life that didn't find you on your knees in prayer for me.
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Michelle and I met in the seventh grade. I was one of the cool kids, despite dozens of photographs to the contrary.
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Is Anyone Listening? Do My Prayers Really Change Anything? Jared Brock sensed that something was missing in his prayer life, so he embarked on a yearlong journey to rediscover the power of prayer (and eat some delicious falafel). FOLLOW JARED ON A 37,000-MILE TRIP AROUND THE WORLD AS HE...* Dances with Hasidic Jews in Brooklyn* Discovers the 330-year-old home of Brother Lawrence* Plants prayer bombs in North Korea* Burns his clothes at the end of the world* Attends the worlds largest church* Attempts fire walking (with only minor burns)Although up to 90% of us pray, very few of us feel like we've mastered prayer. A Year of Living Prayerfully is a fascinating, humorous, globe-trotting exploration of prayer that will help you grow your own prayer life. While filming a documentary about sex trafficking, Jared and Michelle Brock felt a deep need for prayer in their personal lives. In an effort to learn more about prayer, the couple traveled the globe, exploring the great Judeo-Christian prayer traditions: in mountains and monasteries, in Christian communities and cathedrals, standing up and lying down, every hour and around the clock. Jared's witty reflections on his fast-paced journey will both entertain and inspire you to think about your own prayer journey. Join Jared on a rollicking modern-day prayer pilgrimage... you'll never pray the same again.… (more)

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