David G. Benner has refreshed his book “Opening to God” and I’m glad, it brought it to my attention! He unpacks the essence of prayer and reviews four classic prayer paths: attending, pondering, responding and being. In each of this, he breaks them down further and then writes nuggets of truth I have found myself digesting for days.

“Lectio divina treats Scriptures not as a text to be studied or a set of truths to be grasped, but as the living Word— always alive and active, always fresh and new.”

From “Opening to God” by David G. Benner

This is not a book to be rushed but one of be savoured, to be practiced. I found I would read a short piece each night, try out the recommended practice, reread the piece and then keep the cycle going digging deeper into it each time.

“When we ponder something we hold it lightly and give it space. We turn it over and consider it from various angles. We ruminate on it—that is, we think about it repeatedly, slowly and casually, efficiency of our thought process not being as important as carefully considering all aspects of the issue.“

From “Opening to God” by David G. Benner

The framework created is robust but the manner of delivery is a gentle embrace, a safe space for the soul to explore, play, lament and heal.

“Prayer is divine communion that enables us to engage the world with renewed focus, competence and passion—and with all of our natural gifts and abilities.“

From “Opening to God” by David G. Benner

If you are looking for calm and peace, for connection practices and soul space, this is one to pick up and enjoy! It is five out of five on the enJOYment scale and highly recommended!

I received a complimentary copy of the book from InterVarsity Press through NetGalley. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

From the back cover:

Most Christians want to experience spiritual transformation. But many are frustrated by the limited progress of our spiritual self-improvement efforts. We find our praying burdened by a sense of obligation and failure. But prayer is not merely something we do; prayer is what God does in us. Prayer is not just communication with God—it is communion with God. As we open ourselves to him, God does the spiritual work of transformation in us. Spiritual director and psychologist David Benner invites us to discover openness to God as the essence of prayer, spirituality, and the Christian life. Prayer is far more than saying words to God; all of life can be prayer when offered to God in faith and with openness. Using the four movements of lectio divina, Benner explores prayer as attending, pondering, responding, and being. Along the way he opens us to a world of possibilities for communion with God: praying with our senses, with imagination, with music and creativity, in contemplation, in service, and much more. Learn how prayer can be a way of living. Move beyond words to become not merely someone who prays, but someone whose entire life is prayer in union with God. This expanded edition includes a new afterword and an experiential guide with questions for individual reflection or group discussion.

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