Book Review: Praying with Body and Soul*

My prayer now includes silence and stillness, movement and imagination, sensuality and sexuality, laughter and play, work, service, and the struggle for justice. Prayer has become for me the practice of bringing all of who I have been, all of who I am, and all of who I am becoming into relationship with God. When I bring all of myself to God, I am praying with body and soul. ~Jane Vennard~

I have been trying to think up something to say about Praying with Body and Soul by Jane Vennard other than, ” This Book is awesome.”

I knew from chapter one that I was going to fall in love with this book because the author and I seem to have the same philosophy around spirituality. Strange since I am a Wiccan in a Buddhist Chaplain degree program while she is an ordained Christian minister. Our views should be on opposing  sides of reality, right?

I believe that faith and spiritual practice is not about being nice and holy. It is about emerging oneself into one’s spiritual journey in order to be fully present to what is divine. It is about wholeness and not about putting on a false face to please some distant deity. Vennard’s way of approaching spirituality is very much in line with these beliefs.

Jane Vennard speaks about prayer, faith and practice in terms of coming into complete relationship with God. Her book teaches readers to let go of barriers that separate them from the full expression of God. It other words, stop being polite and afraid and start really praying. Chapter after Chapter she challenges the reader to show God all our different faces. The Book teaches how to pray in every situation and let go of assumptions that there is a right way or a right moment for pray. The Book reassures that the divine wants to hear our true reality and wants to be in relationship with us. Of course like most relationships this means embracing honesty , fearless and the willingness to be vulnerable.

So, I wound recommend this book to anyone looking to bring prayer into their everyday lives. If you are not Christian you may have to substitute some of the terms used. But it is worth it, if you want your prayers to become more alive and real. If you want an honest relationship with whatever you hold sacred.

*This is a honest review, Book was purchased with my own money.


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