HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Pray Then Listen: A Heart-to-Heart with God
Author: Teresa O’Driscoll
Publisher: Circle Books, 2022
Language level: 2 (the euphemism “gosh” is used several times)
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Primarily for adults
Rating: **** 4 stars
(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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O’Driscoll, Teresa. Pray Then Listen: A Heart-to-Heart with God (Published in 2022 by Circle Books, an imprint of John Hunt Publishing Ltd., No. 3 East St., Alresford, Hampshire, U.K. SO24 9EE). The basic premise for this book is found at the beginning in the Introduction where the author writes, “God…said to me…’Write a book and show people how to speak to Me.’” As with any human-authored work on a religious subject, people of different theological backgrounds may find statements, observations, and conclusions with which they disagree. For example, the author says of God’s response to her prayers, “In some of the situations He spoke to me directly.” Many sincere Bible believers, who pray fervently and are fully convinced that God hears and answers their prayers, do not share the thinking that God speaks directly to them. Also she writes of certain answers to prayers that “I am, of course, describing miracles,” whereas, again, there are devout Christians who are firmly persuaded that God is still active in our lives today but not in a miraculous way.
There seems to me to be a lot of emphasis on physical preparation for prayer. Many of the meditations begin with instructions like this: “Sit with your back straight and close your eyes. Exhale fully and take a slow in-breath. Hold it for a few seconds and breathe out and feel tension leaving with it. Then say the following prayer.” As with many of the suggestions in the book, some may find these directions useful while others may not. I do appreciate the author’s reaction to the question as to why bad things happen: “Many years ago, after going through an extremely testing time related to a close relative, I eventually made the decision to put that question aside….I don’t know why bad things happen. But I decided to keep putting my trust in my loving Heavenly Father.” I also applaud her stand on the Bible: “Although written thousands of years ago, the Bible, a collection of books, is as fresh and as relevant today as it was then.” There is much interesting reading in this “prayer guide.”