Author(s): Jared BrockDownload
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* Burns his clothes at the end of the world* Attends the world’s 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.
Some Reviews: 103 in Goodreads.com
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This book was challenging in the best way. It was a very easy read and definitely enjoyable to read via audiobook, as I did. For all Brock’s humor and interesting stories, there’s a lot to chew on and mull over long after you close the last page.
Most times, I review books out of publisher agreements. In the case of this book, I received a copy per the personal invitation of Jared. Jared even put together a book trailer to give potential readers a feel for his style of writing. The premise of the book is quite enticing, and piqued my personal interest as well. I spent most of the reading time in two chunks, with an overnight reading session to see what Jared had to say about prayer.
Jared tells of his experience travelling the world in an effort to improve his personal prayer life. In this journey, he met with Jewish, Orthodox, and Pentecostal leaders. Jared is definitely skilled at writing, and has quite the resume (including HuffPo and Esquire) to back it up. His experiences are honest, even to a brutal degree. During his travels, and his interactions with different groups, he learns useful and applicable prayer practices to integrate in his own prayer life, and at the same time, provides these for readers to learn more about.
While accomplishing this, however, Jared reveals his inadequate knowledge of culture, history, and theology of any group that differs from his own personal beliefs. I nearly put the book down while what he had to say about the Jewish people. My wife gently reminding me that it was most likely sarcasm and a plea to humor, but with recent worldwide events, religious and cultural groups have grown very sensitive to how they are portrayed.
Apart from the minor indiscretions of sarcasm, Jared shares his travels with amazing detail, and even imparted useful prayer techniques for me to implement in my own prayer life. This book is definitely one to take a look at.
Disclosure: I was contracted to write an honest review in exchange for a reviewer copy of the product. The opinions stated in this review are solely my own.
Emotionally weary from his fight against human trafficking, Jared Brock and his wife sought refreshment in prayer. A yearlong traveling retreat would immerse them in the prayer traditions of Orthodox Judaism, Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and the Protestant sects. Although a passionate Christian for most of his life, Brock’s status as a thoroughly modern evangelical allows him to discover these traditions for the first time, and take lessons from them even as he retains his own convictions. Alternately reverent and cheeky, Brock is a comic but earnest guide to man’s intense desire to touch the divine. For the devout Christian, his thoughtful analysis of what he gleans from this yearlong study will no doubt be fruitful; for instance, the importance of “kingdom-minded prayer” in which the seeker prays not for God to simply rescue him or do something for him, but attempts to surrender himself before the will of God in his own life, to abide in the presence of God and act not for reasons of self-will, but out of genuine love for one another. There are some dodgy moments, though — Brock’s wife jumping into a cold pond au naturale after saying various Jewish prayers, because they wanted to experience the ritual baptism and surprisingly no Orthodox Jews were open to having some evangelical woman “playing temple”. Brock purposely seeks out the bizarre — the Westboro cult, Christian nudists, people walks on coals — and these are included more for entertainment value than anything else. The early parts of the book, however, in which Brock visits Israel and walks a pilgrimage route in Spain, even meeting Pope Francis, offer far more substance, like Brock’s thoughtful dismay at the crass commercialization of Jerusalem. The bizaare aspects make the work somewhat attractive to secular audiences, however.
As a Christian, I struggle with my prayer life. I don’t pray enough, I don’t pray with meaning, and I don’t pray for the right things. Jared Brock and his wife felt the same struggle and brought us along on their journey to discover what prayer is and methods to better connect with God.
I thoroughly enjoyed A Year of Living Prayerfully. Brock is not afraid to open up his (and his wife’s) life up for viewing, and gives honest, unpretentious accounts of his adventures. He recounts his tales in an entertaining way that’s sometimes heart-breaking, sometimes funny, but mostly thought-provoking.
The main points I got out of this book were:
Pray for what really matters. God is not a genie in a bottle. He’s our Father and Creator, and we need to pray for a lasting impact in the souls on this Earth.
Praying is about connecting with God. Show your admiration to Him and thank Him constantly instead of just giving him your wish list (this is a simple thought, but one I need constant reminder of).
It’s easy to get angry, be cynical, and call for someone else to fix things. It’s hard to pray consistently about the big issues. That spiritual bonds will be broken, that the Holy spirit will guard our theology and rightly divide the word of truth, and that He’ll end injustice.
To summarize, I highly recommend this book. It’s not only entertaining and well-written, but hopefully will create a spark in your prayer life, too.
I’ve always loved reading books where the author takes some sort of journey, experiencing different things over the course of a year. So when I saw this book about Jared Brock taking a spiritual journey to discover how different groups/religions/people pray, I had to pick it up.
It took me awhile to get into it, not because of the topic, but because of timing. When my daughter started her chemotherapy & radiation treatments, I began to read a little more often. I felt that I needed to see what prayer meant to others, especially since I wasn’t really sure what it meant to me — and I was starting on a journey where I never needed prayer more.
I enjoyed Jared’s journey. His wife often accompanied him as well, but the story was mainly from his viewpoint and his experiences. I found his experiences fascinating and along the way learned more and more about prayer — what it means to pray, how to pray. Jared writes with humor and the book was not “dry” at all. It totally kept my attention and gave me direction on how I can continually strive to improve my own prayer life.
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A Year of Living Prayerfully: How A Curious Traveler Met the Pope, Walked on Coals, Danced with Rabbis, and Revived His Prayer Life 9781414392134, 9781496403636, 9781414392141, 9781496403643, 1496403630, 9781999522407, 1999522400.azw3 – 3 Mb