Sunday, February 20, 2011

In Constant Search - A Review of In Constant Prayer by Robert Benson

A review of "In Constant Prayer" by Robert Benson for Book Sneeze and Thomas Nelson Book Reviewers:

When I first heard about the “Ancient Practices” series, the book on prayer interested me most. I loved the concept, the topic, and the series offerings. In Constant Prayer instead left me constantly searching for anything ancient or new about prayer. What I found instead was a recommendation to return to ancient church (not necessarily Biblical) practices. The author told me I could pray the same prayer as Jesus to His Father but he never told me what prayer that was. He told me all about this idea of the office but never gave an example until the appendix. He did provide plenty of excuses and anecdotes for not praying. This is old, nay, ancient material. It was certainly no encouragement to engage in prayer whether ancient or contemporary.

The support for his position seemed lacking as only two other works appeared in the bibliography. So overall, I learned nothing new from this book about the ancient practice of constant prayer. At one point I was excited by the prospect of finding out how, as an individual, I might learn to pray without ceasing. Instead, the author leads us to believe that this is accomplished corporately as individuals and churches around the world pray the “office” within their time zones of prayer.

I would have enjoyed learning about the ancient origins of the hours of prayer in Bible times. Instead, the author simply offered these as mere facts and then moved on with his personal stories, few of which directly had anything to do with prayer.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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