I am sometimes asked by publishers and authors to review a new book coming out, and if the book looks interesting, I happily agree. After all, I love books. Brazos Press recently asked me to review Bert Ghezzi’s new book “Adventures in Daily Prayer.” Considering that Bert is my editor at Our Sunday Visitor, I felt I had to say yes. So I received the book and began to read it. I admit that sometimes I read a review book only in order to review it; in other words, I don’t really read it intensely and for personal benefit, but instead only to write a review of the book. I also admit that I started reading this book with this attitude. But once I began, my whole attitude changed. I realized that this was a book that could truly help me in my own prayer life, so I changed gears and began to seriously – and prayerfully – read it. I am very glad I did, because this is an excellent guide for anyone who is serious about prayer.
For the first fifteen years after I made a commitment to follow Christ I was never faithful to a daily prayer life. I would pray every day for a week or even a month, but then I would fall out of my routine and take months to get back into it. Not surprisingly, I also found during this time that I made little progress in growing in holiness: sins stayed persistent and I had much anxiety and little faith guiding my decisions. Then, about eight years ago under the spiritual direction of a wonderful priest I began to pray daily and to stick with it. I made it a priority to pray every day no matter what. This routine has been life-changing: I am still far from the perfection God calls us to, but my whole attitude towards growing in holiness has changed and anxiety no longer rules my life as it once did.
But I still have very far to go, and this is where Bert’s book is so useful. You see, Bert has been praying daily for fifty years, so he knows a thing or two about it. He shares his insights and reflections from these fifty years in an incredibly accessible and helpful way. He combines his own personal experiences with the wisdom of Scripture and the Saints to help the reader along the path to a deeper prayer commitment. He addresses subjects such as listening to God, praying with Scripture and recognizing God’s presence, all in a manner that can be practically applied in one’s life. No matter if you are a beginner at daily prayer or have been doing it for years, Bert’s experiences are sure to be helpful.
I am convinced that daily prayer radically changes lives, and Bert Ghezzi has given his readers a wonderful guide to participating in daily prayer in his new book, “Adventures in Daily Prayer.” I recommend it highly to anyone who is serious about growing in holiness (and shouldn’t that be everyone?).