From Publishers Weekly
A book about fixed-hour prayer by a Mennonite pastor may seem odd, and Boers not only acknowledges this oddity but also traces the historical moments and theological perspectives that have led Christians, especially Protestants, away from ancient disciplines such as the daily Office. In a conversational, nonjudgmental tone, Boers mentions but does not belabor the obvious: Protestants, especially evangelicals, distrust liturgy because it does not seem as alive to them as spontaneous prayer, and they object to prayer being limited to fixed hours. Boers gently answers these concerns, pointing out that while God is indeed always available, it honors God to set aside specific times to pray. While Boers is careful not to oversell fixed-hour prayer (he often repeats that it is not for everyone), he does emphasize one advantage it has over do-it-yourself quiet times: believers need not come up with their own words or style day after day. Instead, they can count on a scripture-filled ritual of worship and prayer, a liturgy that has been thoughtfully arranged and the knowledge that countless other believers are praying at the same time. Boers includes descriptions of his visits to three European Christian communities that emphasize common prayer, and in several appendices gives readers ample ideas and resources for finding a suitable prayer book, starting a prayer group and avoiding burnout. This book is a lovely addition to the growing literature inviting Protestants to embrace pre-Reformation practices that they have long eschewed.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
A long-time pastor and writer, Arthur Paul Boerss work has appeared in publications including Reformed Worship, Christian Century, and Christianity Today. He is a professor at the Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Indiana, where he lives with his wife and two children.