The Rhythm of God’s Grace
Arthur Paul Boers “The Rhythm of God’s Grace: Uncovering Morning and Evening Hours of Prayer” [Paraclete Press, 2003]
“Today’s hectic pace leaves little time to nourish the spirit, and at one time or another all of us feel spiritually disconnected and alone. But there is a treasure within the Christian faith, highly prized by those who have found it, that offers a solution to this modern-day dilemma: morning and evening prayer. Practical, warmhearted, and wise, drawing upon Scripture and long-time personal experience, Pastor Arthur Boers invites us to reclaim this prayer tradition—and to find our relationship with God forever changed.”
“A book about fixed-hour prayer by a Mennonite pastor may seem odd, and Boers not only acknowledges this oddity but also traces the historical moments and theological perspectives that have led Christians, especially Protestants, away from ancient disciplines such as the daily Office. In a conversational, nonjudgmental tone, Boers mentions but does not belabor the obvious: Protestants, especially evangelicals, distrust liturgy because it does not seem as alive to them as spontaneous prayer, and they object to prayer being limited to fixed hours. Boers gently answers these concerns, pointing out that while God is indeed always available, it honors God to set aside specific times to pray. While Boers is careful not to oversell fixed-hour prayer (he often repeats that it is not for everyone), he does emphasize one advantage it has over do-it-yourself quiet times: believers need not come up with their own words or style day after day. Instead, they can count on a scripture-filled ritual of worship and prayer, a liturgy that has been thoughtfully arranged and the knowledge that countless other believers are praying at the same time. Boers includes descriptions of his visits to three European Christian communities that emphasize common prayer, and in several appendices gives readers ample ideas and resources for finding a suitable prayer book, starting a prayer group and avoiding burnout. This book is a lovely addition to the growing literature inviting Protestants to embrace pre-Reformation practices that they have long eschewed.” “Publisher’s Weekly”
Arthur Paul Boers (D.Min., Northern Baptist Theological Seminary) is associate professor of pastoral theology at Tyndale Seminary in Toronto. He is an ordained minister in the Mennonite Church USA and a Benedictine oblate at St. Gregory’s Abbey in Three Rivers, Michigan.