I received my copy of In Constant Prayer by Robert Benson two days ago and I read right through it. I chose this book from Booksneeze because of the title. I had no idea what the term “Daily Office” really referred to so my curiosity was peaked. I was truly not disappointed. Benson spoke easily of what this practice is and how it has affected his life. His use of personal experiences helped the reader to understand his perspective of this type of prayer. I do not know that this is for everyone, as it is a discipline that may in fact be hard for some to follow for various reasons. I will say though, that should this practice be put into effect in one’s life, I could certainly see how your prayer life and your worship could change.
I was especially intrigued by Chapter 5 entitled “The Divine of the Daily Office”. He spends the first page and a half extolling the virtues of the modern day church. Well, as some would see it anyway. Then he says, “What we do not have so much of sometimes, it seems to me, is the depth of spirit and of devotion and of piety – now, there is a scary word – that marked the life of the faithful in the hundreds and thousands of years before us, the centuries that produced the Church we built our buildings and programs around in the first place.” He notes “…this tradition of daily prayer is one of the practices our modern Church does not do that the ancient Church did. We preach sermons, study the Scriptures, gather to worship on the Sabbath, teach our children the faith, and fellowship with one another – but we do not say our prayers”. Hit that one out of the ballpark. This was a very simple, yet loud statement that rang with truth.
As a book written to encourage one to pray more, I wholeheartedly agree. Our Bible tells us to “pray without ceasing”. If this type of structure will cause you to pray more, worship more and seek God more then I would recommend it. Overall, a good read for beginning to understand this type of prayer as his style of writing engages you personally.
I received this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for a unbiased review of it.