cover image GOD ENCOUNTER: Experiencing the Power of Creative Prayer

GOD ENCOUNTER: Experiencing the Power of Creative Prayer

Lisa Tawn Bergren, . . WaterBrook, $14.99 (192pp) ISBN 978-1-57856-638-9

HIn this marvelous book, Bergren reverses the command frequently given on prime-time television programs: do try this at home! This flavorful how-to manual guides readers to "encounter" God through imaginative, meditative prayer. Bergren, a prolific novelist in the CBA market, uses imagery so vivid it borders on the poetic to engage readers' senses. In one sequence, she describes walking in a dark forest, alone and afraid, and the relief that arises when shelter is found. She likewise tells of being bathed inside and out in the enveloping comfort of a hot spring—a metaphor for how Christians may engage God with their whole being. Bergren cleverly walks her audience through the steps to creative prayer. Readers learn simple breathing techniques to make them more physically aware; a brief Scripture selection is then offered as a meditative appetizer. This is followed by a prayer of quiet petition and protection. Then Bergren spins her tales of personal experience with God with masterful grace and agility. Although some very conservative Christians may balk at Bergren's suggestions about breathing and meditation, thinking them too close to New Age teachings, those Christians who are energetic toward prayer disciplines will heartily embrace Bergren's creative, and most appropriate, use of imagination to gain a closer audience with the divine. She has discovered a fresh twist on a timeless Christian discipline. (Dec.)

Forecast:The low price gives this hardback a gifty quality, which should prove a boon. This will not be a mega-hit, but should be a steady word-of-mouth title, particularly among women readers.