Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Book Review: Adventures in Daily Prayer

By Bert Ghezzi, Ph.D., Brazos Press (October 1, 2010), Hardcover: 160 pages, Available from Brazos Press, Amazon, and Barnes &; Noble, and other Major Catholic and Christian Bookstores.

Reviewed by JEAN M. HEIMANN, freelance writer, wife and mother, graduate student in theology, retired educator, psychologist, and oblate with the Community of St. John.

There are some writers you instinctively trust to produce works that enlighten, inspire, and open up your heart, mind, and soul to the truth. Bert Ghezzi, Ph.D. is such a writer. When I heard about his new book, Adventures in Daily Prayer: Experiencing the Power of God’s Love, I was more than eager to review it.

One of the original leaders in the Catholic charismatic movement, the long-time editor of New Covenant Magazine, the author of numerous books and articles on spirituality and the saints, and regular guest on EWTN, this wise and holy husband and father of seven has acquired keen insight on prayer.

As a contemplative and a prayer intercessor, I wasn’t sure that Dr. Ghezzi would have anything new to share with me, but I was humbled by his witness.

First of all, I was able to relate to his honest, intimate account of the development of his personal prayer life – beginning with a casual attitude toward prayer and a textbook knowledge of his faith as a child and advancing toward the discovery of a personal relationship with God and an intimate prayer life as a college student. Not only does he witness to us about his prayer life, but he acts as a spiritual guide, advising us on how to develop our own prayer life more fully, explaining both the why and the how. He accomplishes this by covering such topics as: giving ourselves to God, living in God’s presence, praying in the spirit, praying with thanksgiving, praying with scriptures, listening to God, praying for and with others, and acquiring faithfulness in our prayer life.

I was amazed by the strength of Dr. Ghezzi's convictions and how often his suggestions applied to my own prayer life and that of and so many people I know who struggle with dryness in and difficulty in remaining persistent in prayer. Dr. Ghezzi offers numerous practical helps and much consolation in this area.  Many of his suggestions are quite effective as I have learned through my own application of them – particularly when it comes to listening to God and the various ways in which He speaks to us.

I found Adventures in Prayer to be a great resource, as it is chock full of passages from the Bible and excerpts of various writings from the saints and other holy people. Although I write frequently on topics of spirituality and the saints, there were several quotes from the saints included that were new to me.

If you want to grow in your prayer life and develop a deeper, more intimate relationship with your Maker, this is the book to read. It is written in an engaging, delightful style that will make it hard to put down. Reading it is like having a conversation with a close friend – a wise and holy spiritual guide -- who will set you on the right path in your prayer life.

~ © Jean M. Heimann January 2011

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