In Constant Prayer
Author: Robert Benson
Paperback: 182 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
I was looking forward to reading this book when I saw it posted on Book Sneeze. I absolutely love the Daily Office, even though my best intentions of praying the Offices is sorely lacking. I come from a liturgical tradition, and as such, don’t have a problem with formal, liturgical times of prayer.
There are those among us for whom the life of prayer, a life of close communion with God, a life in which there is a simple faith and a simple conversation that goes on with the One who made us, takes place in an extraordinary way. (6)
Sadly, I am not one of those people. I have a hard time praying even when I put it on my planner. I get caught up in saying the right words…making sure I’m praying “correctly.” If that sounds like you, then and you want to have the prayer life described about, then this book is for you!
And this is why I love the Daily Office so much…I don’t have to worry about saying the right thing, doing the right thing, etc. Someone, a long time ago, figure all that stuff out for me. All I have to do is recite with a prayerful heart. It is really that simple. The hard part is doing.
This is something anyone can do. You don’t need to be a pastor, bishop, deacon…any lay person can and should pray the Daily Office. Benson writes,
The truth is that the was never meant to be just for professionals, or to be prayed just by a few. It was meant to be prayed by all the faithful, or at least with has been for six thousand years. It was meant to be part and parcel of our individual piety and our common life of devotion. It was meant to be offered by all of us. (26)
Throughout the book, Benson combines history with stories to create this work that makes the Daily Office relevant and accessible to us today. He does this in a fluid way as he moves from topic to topic and he does it in a way that doesn’t come off pushy, condescending or holier-than-thou. To top it off, Benson provides an sample Office (153-157) as well as a list of other resources on the Daily Office (158-161).
Overall, I was fairly impressed with the book. Much could be written on Daily Office; it’s history, it’s usage, etc. I think Benson did a good job giving a concise history of the Daily Office and making it relevant to us today.
I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. Providing me a free copy in no way guarantees a favorable review. The opinions expresses in this review 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.”