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Time for God by Jacques Philippe

Time for God (1992)

by Jacques Philippe

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This slim little volume on prayer manages to cover a lot of ground. It focuses on the private prayer between individuals and God and details some important principles to keep in mind while praying. The primary message I took from this book is that prayer is less about what we do, and more about what we allow God to do in us. The book also emphasizes the importance of perseverance, humility, and making time for God. There are also a few extremely practical tips concerning times, places, and types of things to pray.

I was very impressed by this book and would recommend it to any Christian who is hoping to strengthen his or her prayer life. The book is written by a Catholic priest and contains several references to the writings of saints, particularly Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, and Thérèse of Lisieux. However, I definitely think that the “meat” of the book is appropriate for, and would be acceptable to, all Christians. I highly recommend it for a simple yet helpful guide to prayer. Here’s one of my favorite quotes from the book, which seems to encapsulate its central message:

For the moment, what we need to grasp is that if, despite having good will, we are incapable of praying well, or producing any good sentiments or beautiful reflections, that should not make us sad. We should offer our poverty to the action of God. Then we will be making a prayer much more valuable than the kind that would leave us feeling self-satisfied. St. Francis de Sales used to pray, “Lord, I am nothing but a block of wood: set fire to it!”
  christina_reads | Jun 24, 2014 |
This book may be easily overlooked because its goal is to help the reader discover the deep levels of prayer (contemplative prayer) unknown to many if not most Christians. This is so because we are blind when we lack hunger for what is deep and good but which is withheld until we resolve in earnest perseverance to overcome dryness and adversity that are normal in the life of prayer. I am in the process of re-reading this short book (Summer & Fall of 2011). I am finding it to be excellent and thorough, while yet being a short survey of contemplative prayer. It reviews the components and common challenges and the rewards of engaging in this kind of prayer. The book is sound and doesn't stray from orthodoxy. It relies on the great saints and doctors of church as examples to prove the sure footing being advocated. It is practical as it can be on a topic of the inner life of prayer and God's movement in grace. The book is sensitive to the individual; it acknowledge that each person is unique in God’s eyes and thereby resists the ‘mechanical-how-to’ approach. (I obtained this book at an Opus Dei retreat where it was displayed among their recommended works.) ( )
  allenkeith | Apr 17, 2010 |
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