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by Michael Mayne
Publisher:DLT (Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd)
There is nothing in this short book on prayer that hasnít been expressed eloquently before by any of the great masters of the devotional life Ė Simone Weil, Thomas Merton, Harry Williams, to name but a few. But there is nothing wrong with repetition when it is executed so succinctly and effectively as through the pen of Michael Mayne, and to place him in the same company as the aforementioned greats only serves to emphasise the value of this small volume.
Prayer - Mayne stresses Ė is a journey inwards; it is a state of being not an activity to be completed. It is the only place where we can truly meet ourselves, others and God. In that sense, prayer is the only true reality that exists.
The truth of this is undeniable but it is an uncomfortable reminder perhaps, of how little true prayer exists within the worshipping life of our churches. For many churchgoers prayer is about asking God to do things for us or for others, when instead prayer should simply be calling us to be still in Godís presence, enjoying the company of the divine and listening to the silence. Then miracles can happen.
Potentially useful in all sorts of settings this book should have had ten minutes attention by an editor before being hastened into print. For the text is clearly an un-edited series of talks given at a conference, knowledge of which is assumed in the final copy and yet no explanation is given by way of introduction. That is not what one expects of either Michael Mayne or DLT.
Reviewer: David Ford (27/09/11)