365 Prayers a Year

Liam Maxwell

Publisher: Xlibris Pages: 124 Price: (paperback) 13.99 UK ISBN: 9781453570807 Reviewed: October, 2013 Author Website: Visit »

In this book, Liam Maxwell offers one prayer for each day of the year. In his words, “I would like this book to be a self-help book, so that having offered up each day as a prayer to God, you [sic] make the most of it.”

Each prayer is numbered and followed by a specific personal attribute or desired quality (such as “awareness,” “cheerfulness,” “patience”) as well as a paragraph or two of related advice. The attributes are offered throughout the book in an alphabetical manner.

Apparently aimed at a Catholic audience (“Immaculate Mother of Grace, Pray [sic} for me”), entries offer simple instructions in subjects ranging from healthy eating to “what pursuits are positive and worth cultivating.” Advice is generally straightforward, such as: “Set a good example for others.”

While there is much to appreciate here, it should be noted that the prayers—sometimes statements rather than true prayers—often differ in subject from their paired attributes, creating disconnections. In addition, the prayers would be better linked to a specific day—March 12th, for example, rather than #71—and many entries contain well-known quotes with no credit given to original authors.

Advice, on occasion, can be questionable (“You need to sow your wild oats when young, as I did myself”) and sometimes comes from a secular point of view (“So many of us go through life with a lack of confidence. ‘Whatever we do won’t turn out right.’ Let’s try ‘auto-suggestion’, self-applied hypnosis…Believe you can do it, and you will”).

Formatting difficulties surface here and there, while lumped-together attributes toward the end of the book (“zoom, zest, zeal, and zip,” under one prayer, for instance) lend a feeling of hurried conclusion.

Despite all, Catholic readers may find daily inspiration in this book of simple good-for-you advice and indeed be encouraged to live their faith 365 days a year.

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