Saturday 15 January 2022

Prayer Made Simple - David Torkington - CTS Devotions and Prayers

Prayer Made Simple
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 9781784695620
eISBN 9781784695927
CTS Booklet D828

Wow! This is a wonderful little volume. Over the last few years I have read over 250 books from the Catholic Truth Society, many from the Prayers and Devotions Series. There are so many wonderful books and booklets from the CTS. And this is an excellent offering. And it looks like the beginning of a wonderful trilogy, for in the end of the book it mentions two companion volumes:

Meditation Made Simple
Contemplation Made Simple

I am very much looking forward to those volumes. But back to this book. The description of this book is:

“This booklet is a simple, practical guide on prayer, and how to implement and benefit from it in daily life, not least in acts of love and a new ‘worship in spirit and truth’.

This booklet shows how to pray according to the Christian tradition from the beginning, incorporating helpful advice and teaching from the great saints, monks and mystics over the ages.

It is a simple, practical guide on prayer, and how to implement and benefit from it in daily life, not least in acts of love and a new ‘worship in spirit and truth’.”

It is a simple guide on prayer but it is also a very profound book. I could easily see it becoming a Christian classic along the lines of The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence. The chapters in this book are:

  1 The Sun that Never Sets
  2 Where Time Touches Eternity
  3 The Spiritual Escalator
  4 It’s All in the Trying
  5 It is in Giving that we Receive
  6 The Quality of our Endeavour
  7 From Here to Eternity
  8 Journey’s End
  9 The Journey Begins
  10 O: The Morning Offering
  11 U: In Union with the Mystical Body
  12 R: Reviewing the Day Ahead
  13 F: Faith in Our Risen Lord
  14 A: Abandonment
  15 T: Thanksgiving
  16 H: Holy Communion
  17 E: Examination of Conscience
  18 R: Repentance
  19 Morning Prayer
  20 Evening Prayer
  21 The Prayer without Ceasing

At the beginning of this book, after the title page the author states:

“If our main preoccupation is prayer it does not mean that we are blind to the political, social or theological problems that beset the world. It means rather that we realise what must come first. Seek first God and his Kingdom of love and then everything else will be given to you.

Prayer is the place where this search begins.”

The book is one of great value. It is a small volume but an excellent work. Torkington provides excellent insights into the why and the how of prayer. He also gives us a mnemonic for the Our Father:

O: The Morning Offering
U: In Union with the Mystical Body
R: Reviewing the Day Ahead

F: Faith in Our Risen LORD
A: Abandonment
T: Thanksgiving
H: Holy Communion*
E: Examination of Conscience
R: Repentance

This is a great tool no matter how much work you believe your prayer life needs, or even if you have progressed well in your personal discipline of prayer. David has a true gift for teaching about the spiritual life, and especially prayer. This book is neither too basic nor too complicated. It is an excellent little book that I believe every Christian could benefit from reading. It is another amazing resource from the Catholic Truth Society.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2022 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

A New Beginning
Trilogy on Prayer: The Mystic, the Prophet, the Hermit
The Hermit: A Personal Discovery of Prayer 
The Mystic: From Charismatic to Mystical Prayer 
The Prophet: The Inner Meaning of Prayer
How to Pray: A Practical Guide
Wisdom from Franciscan Italy
Wisdom from the Christian Mystics
Wisdom from the Western Isles: The Making of a Mystic

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