Seven Steps to Transforming Your Life Through the Lord's Prayer
Reviewed May 6, 2010.
A Fireside Book (Simon & Schuster), New York, 2009. 201 pages.
When I saw this book on our library's "New Books" shelf, I was interested, but a bit skeptical. Promising miracles and life transformation sounded a bit New Age-y and trendy to me. But our pastor had recently challenged us to do some extra reading and thinking about the life of Jesus, and I thought reading about the Lord's Prayer couldn't help but give me insight into Jesus and who He was.
I ended up liking the book so much, I read a chapter each day during my devotional time. Kathleen McGowan suggests establishing a practice of praying the Lord's Prayer every day. Using Christian tradition and the image of the six-petaled rose in the maze at Chartres Cathedral, she suggests seven ideas to think and pray about when going through the prayer.
These concepts are basic and fundamental ideas in Christianity, or indeed in most other religions. I certainly like the idea of making a practice of thinking and praying about them, and appreciate Kathleen McGowan's imagery that will help me bring them to mind.
The concepts are Faith, Surrender, Service, Abundance, Forgiveness, Overcoming Obstacles, and -- in the heart of it all -- Love. She has excellent illustrations and quotations about each "petal" of the rose and ties each one to lines from the Lord's Prayer.
One thing I like about this book is that even if you don't agree with every single point of the author's theology, the Lord's Prayer will still have impact on your life. As the author says about some people who take issue with her theology:
I am willing to bet that we have one thing in common: we all know the Lord's Prayer. If you put the three of us in a room together, this is the common ground we could find. And so I hold on to the belief that this perfect, beautiful prayer can unite all of us in loving God and loving each other.
This is an inspiring and uplifting book.