“If you’re bored, then you must be boring,” said Harvey Danger, Dr. Laura, and I’m-not-sure-who-all-else, but if you’re bored with your prayer life, I don’t think it means that you’re boring and neither is God.
If you’re a regular pray-er, it’s not uncommon to get stuck in a rut of well-worn practices, whether you find yourself falling back on the same phrases like, O God, I “just”…. or playing the same praise songs without really hearing them any more, or staring blankly at an empty journal page not knowing what to write or draw.
If you’re looking to jump out of that rut and get more life in your prayer life, I’m happy to recommend Pray Like a Gourmet: Creative Ways to Feed Your Soul by David Brazzeal (Paraclete Press, 2015).
Using the metaphor of food for prayer, Brazzeal wrote this book to help readers re-imagine prayer in the same way that living in France and sampling French food has changed his own understanding of prayer. At the end of chapter 1, he shares his hopes for this book:
May it expand your prayer palette so your soul becomes accustomed to new tastes and textures. May it invite you on the adventure of mastering ancient exotic recipes from yet unexplored realms of spiritual cuisine. May you learn the joy of creatively feeding your own soul. In other words, I invite you to pray like a gourmet! (page 8)
Throughout his book, Brazzeal gives readers a taste of different ways of praying. He includes ancient practices like lectio divina and the Jesus Prayer, but I found myself most drawn to his other creative ways of praying:
- like reading through Psalm 148 and then drawing the whole cast of creation including angels, oceans, mountains, and a symbol to represent yourself (page 48),
- or thinking through some of the movies you’ve seen and writing a litany connecting God’s character to your favourite movie characters (page 52),
- or trying a coffee confession by alternating sips of your morning coffee with short prayer sentences spoken aloud (page 72).
I’m still feasting on the rich spread of practices that Brazzeal offers in his book.
I also enjoyed this video of the author who says, “I like to help my creative friends become more spiritual, but I also like to help my spiritual friends become more creative.”
Your Turn: How do you get more life in your prayer life? What books and practices can you recommend?
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book through Speakeasy. As in all my reviews, the opinions I’ve expressed here are my own.
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