The Prayer Wheel: A Daily Guide to Renewing Your Faith with a Rediscovered Spiritual Practice

Patton Dodd, Jana Riess, and David Van Biema. Convergent, $23 (224p) ISBN 978-1-5247-6031-1
Dodd, former editor at OnFaith; Riess, former PW religion reviews editor; and Van Biema, former religion writer for Time, hope to stimulate Christians’ interest in the Prayer Wheel, a long-lost diagram that can be used to structure a 28-day discipline of prayer. The diagram was found in a 12th-century German book of gospels that emerged at a rare book dealer in Manhattan in 2015. They begin with a cursory explanation of the wheel’s origins but are primarily interested in reviving the use of the wheel to guide and enrich prayer by tying each day to a different thematic element of scripture. In concentric rings representing sections of the Bible and through seven “contemplative paths toward God” arranged like spokes through the rings he wheel uses Christianity’s “big ideas” about the Lord’s Prayer, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, events in the life of Christ, and the beatitudes to form a progression of prayer. Easy to follow and comprehensive, the prayer guide seems as impressively clever today as it was in the 12th century, opening the truths of faith to deeper contemplation that comes with sustained prayer and providing matter for conversation with God grounded in scripture. Some readers will wish for a little more history, but as a prayer prompt, the wheel is divine. This book will make a delightful gift for all interested in deepening their prayer life. Agent: Todd Shuster, Aevitas Creative Management. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/08/2018
Release date: 02/20/2018
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