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Every Prayer Aims for "Transparency" Dec 17, 2005
It is said that good things come in small packages and this is true when it comes this very slim volume of prayers by the Rev. Dr. Michael Anderson-who is the President of the Presbyterian Health Foundation.
The table of contents points the reader to prayers that will connect with the realities of their daily life. Each prayer has a one-word title: Hearing, Downsizing, Remembering, Forgiving, Walking, Trusting, Dying...30 prayers in all. Dr. Anderson begins each prayer with a brief inspirational quotation, from the Bible or from great writers of the past, ranging from St. Augustine to T. S. Eliot. These are gems of inspiration and encouragement in and of themselves, and include several prayer-poems that are Christian classics.
Dr. Anderson's approach to prayer is best illuminated in his initial chapter called "The Scent of Life" in which he thanks God for the wonders all around us and the senses, especially the sense of smell, that calls us to remember God's providential care.
Every prayer aims for what the author calls "transparency" in the presence of God. So this might be a good resource if we seek to practice God's presence throughout 2006. Each page also has footnotes that point the reader to other resources, mostly from Scripture, to help enlarge the theme of personal devotion prompted by the prayer itself.
At the back of the book are ten lined pages that are left blank for the reader to create, as is said in the heading, a "Personal Prayer Journal." It would be so easy to keep this book right next to your Bible, for daily devotions in 2006. Most of the themes will match what is happening in our lives, on a day to day basis.
The author, Rev. Michael Anderson has been a Presbyterian minister for nearly fifty years and was mentored by Dr. John Baillie (author of "A diary of Private Prayer") and T. F. Torrance of the University of Edinburgh. PHF supports medical research and its translation through biotechnology companies at the PHF Research Park. Dr. Anderson graduated from San Francisco Theological Seminary and pursued postgraduate work at Oxford University and the University of Edinburgh which concluded with a Ph.D. degree in theology. He has written over one hundred articles in religious journals and is the author of four books.