End of Year Book Recommendations

PrayWhile I already posted my December book recommendations and my Top 10 Books of 2014, neither list includes a few books that I read in the waning days of 2014.  The best from that group follow (rated on a scale of 1-5).

  • (5) Pray: Prayers for People Who Say They Can’t by Donna Schaper (2014)
  • (4.5) All Whom God Has Joined: Resources for Clergy & Same-Gender Loving Couples by Leanne McCall Tigert and Maren Tirabassi (2010)
  • (4) Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace by Anne Lamott (2014)
  • (4) James in the Suburbs: A Disorderly Parable of the Epistle of James by April Love-Fordham
  • (4) Thriving in the Crosscurrent: Clarity and Hope in a time of Cultural Sea Change by James Kenney (2010)
  • (3.5) What the Dying Have Taught Me About the Living by Fred Grewe (2014)

So What?

Donna Schaper’s latest book is written for a large and rapidly growing group: people who say they can’t pray.  It is also a timely resource for those who are people of prayer yet yearn to enrich that spiritual practice by praying new prayers and exploring ways to craft authentic new prayers of their own.  Measuring just 7 inches by 5 inches and weighing a mere 180 grams, its minuscule size stands in stark contrast to its expansive wisdom.

As one year ends and another begins many people are busy allocating and/or worrying about allocating a supposedly limited resource called time. Schaper’s second chapter focuses on prayers for those too busy to pray, including

Give me a way to understand that time is not my manager but that I am its manager.  Relieve me of the burden of thinking that I can extend by days and help me not waste any more of my days worrying about them.  Let me also stop worrying about worrying so much. Amen (p.23).

Schaper concludes this book with a prayer we would all benefit from pray continually: “God, grant me the power to become myself over time. Amen” (p.191).


  • What is the number one reason you give yourself for not praying during seasons when prayer plays a limited role in your life?
  • Share a resource that has been helpful to you as a person who prays.
  • Which of the two prayers from Schaper’s book resonates with you most right now?



  1. Thanks so much, Greg! Really appreciate it.

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