A House of Prayer

Avril English

Publisher: AuthorHouse Pages: 677 Price: (paperback) $35.02 ISBN: 9781477234525 Reviewed: February, 2013 Author Website: Visit »

Christians believe that their faith is tested through trials, and author Avril English knows something about that, having suffered a lifelong disabling injury and breast cancer. In this Christian, non-denominational, 365-day devotional, it is apparent that her born-again faith is strong.

The book is set up with a page or two for each day of the year and begins with a Scripture citation and a one-line encapsulation of the day’s reading followed by a prayer. Also included is a section called ”Lessons to Be Learnt.” The prayers are those of a mature Christian calling upon God for the kind of guidance that will strengthen the believer’s faith and resolve. They are of a purely spiritual nature, rather than a petition for worldly concerns and are heartfelt, humble, and beautiful.

The problem comes during the “lessons,” in which English offers her thoughts about God and God’s expectations, rather than connecting more intimately with her readers. The book would have been immeasurably more effective if the author had chosen this section to relate some anecdotal material, or better yet, to ask the believer a question relevant to the day’s Scripture instead of preaching.

For example, taking the lesson of September 10, which addresses doing good for others, a question such as “Are you doing all you can to help someone you know who is in need?” would engage readers and put the Scripture, prayer, and lesson in context, rather than English’s more distant and impersonal text: “We need to be zealous for God in spreading the Good News of Christ to all people. Our motives and actions need to be in the right place with God…”

The lack of personal relevance for readers renders this section dry, and more like a lecture than a warm invitation to share in the gospel message.

Despite that, this devotional would be fine to take to the office for those times when spiritual refreshment is most needed.

Also available as an ebook.

Author's Current Residence
Berkshire, England
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