Review of A Rhythm of Prayer, edited by Sarah Bessey

A Rhythm of Prayer

A Collection of Meditations for Renewal

edited by Sarah Bessey

Convergent, 2021. 146 pages.
Review written March 7, 2023, from my own copy, purchased via
Starred Review

A Rhythm of Prayer is a book of prayers and meditations about prayer from a stellar group of Christian writers — I found some new books to buy from the credits after some of the selections.

This little book gave me something to think about each morning as I read and prayed a selection, and usually this included something I hadn’t thought of before in that way.

In her Introduction, Sarah Bessey says she thinks of this book as calling you into a prayer circle.

When I first began to envision this book about prayer, I knew right away what I didn’t want to give you: a nice and tidy new set of prayers to co-opt for your own. Nope, what I wanted was equal parts example and invitation, permission and challenge, to acknowledge the heaviness of our grief and at the same time broaden our hope.

Frankly, I love to pray, and I think the prayers of people like us — however we show up to these pages — matter. Not in spite of scripture but because of it. Not in spite of Church but because of her. Not in spite of our questions and doubts but because of them. Not in spite of our grief and our longing, our yearning for justice and our anger, but because of them.

So no, the point of this is not to give you prayers to pray but to show you: you still get to pray. Prayer is still for you. You still get to cry out to God, you still get to yell, weep, praise, and sit in the silence until you sink down into the Love of God that has always been holding you whether you knew it or not.

This book will give you things to think about, things to meditate on, things to contemplate, and yes, things to pray. And it will also inspire you to do those things on your own.

I’m thinking about prayer often lately, because I recently finished writing a book about prayer, using patterns from the book of Psalms. (I’m still seeking a publisher for that book.) This book fit beautifully with all that I’m thinking about, modeling opening your heart to God in prayer.

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Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but the views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

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