A Year of Living Prayerfully
By Jared Brock
“How a curious traveler met the Pope, walked on coals, danced with Rabbis and renewed his prayer life.”
Published by Tyndale
331 Pages

ABOUT BOOK: 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 Camino de Santiago
* Attends the world's largest church in Seoul
* Visits Westboro Baptist Church
* Tries to stay out of trouble in North Korea
* Meets the Pope and has lunch at the Vatican
* Attempts fire walking (with only minor burns) 
A Year of Living Prayerfully is a fascinating, humorous, globe-trotting exploration of prayer that will help you grow your own prayer life. Jared's witty reflections on his fast-paced journey will both entertain and inspire you to think about your own prayer journey.

REVIEW: The author and his wife sensed a deeper need to connect with God through prayer, after becoming aware of some horrific realities in the world while filming a sex trafficking documentary. The author states, “These issues towered over us and exposed the gaping holes in our spiritual walk”….”We wanted to be prayer warriors, but we felt like prayer wanderers.”

They were raised in the church and prayer had become a mechanical routine. The author admits, “If I’m really honest, God was my Santa Clause.”

The author says, “For our year of living prayerfully, I compiled a list of Judeo-Christian faiths, sects, and denominations. The plan was to research their prayer methods, traditions, and beliefs. We’d travel the world to meet religious leaders, prayer experts and everyday people who have made prayer a vital part of their lives.”… “This book is simply an old-school record of a prayer pilgrimage, for all those who, for whatever reason, can’t go on one for themselves.”

I liked how they systematically went about getting answers about prayer. I enjoyed the many quotes that started the chapters. This is one of my favorites, “Prayer is exhaling the spirit of man and inhaling the spirit of God.”

I felt like I was walking with them on their journey and saw things through their eyes I’d most likely never see in person. I also loved the authors sense of humor. I found myself laughing out loud several times. There was an amazing turn of events that allowed Jared and his wife to get a face to face meeting with the Pope. It was a divine appointment. Here’s an example of his well-timed humor and wit.

 He says, “While it’s of little importance in the grand scheme of things, you might be interested to know what we wore for our papal visit….”On such short notice, we didn’t have time to make a shopping stop….”

“I had asked our host in Rome if I could borrow a few items….The shirt was enormous, reminiscent of billowing ship sails. The pants, on the other hand, were 4” too short, exposing both my white socks and my pasty white ankles.”

“I pulled my pants lower, not unlike a Brooklyn gangster whose arrest we had witnessed a few months earlier. I looked in the mirror. I looked like a mafia bodyguard in a parachute at a funeral.”

“I had kept the shoes and shirt, but switched back to denim. My wife, on the other hand, had no alternate clothing options. They say that success in life is doing the best you can with what you’ve got, and we had tried our best.”

“We met the Pope in jeans and yoga pants.”

It still makes me laugh. I liked how the book was divided into various places their research took them. They started in Hamilton, Ontario, then they traveled to New York. City, Israel, Mount Athos, Greece, Italy, Spain, France, Eastern USA, the Outer Limits, Korea and England.

This is about a young couple’s search for a deeper, more alive prayer life, that made me think about my own faith walk and how I prayed. I was inspired not only by what they discovered on this adventure but also by how the Lord orchestrated many “divine” moments for them.  This book was fun, informative, honest, inspiring, and entertaining. It was a breath of fresh air. I couldn’t get enough of. Great for your book club to experience. It’s a keeper. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. 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”

Nora St. Laurent
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