cover image ANSWERED PRAYERS: Love Letters from the Divine

ANSWERED PRAYERS: Love Letters from the Divine

Julia Cameron, . . Penguin/Tarcher, $9.95 (224pp) ISBN 978-1-58542-351-4

The prolific writer and well-known creativity guru best known for her Artist's Way method of developing creativity pens another prayer book for the spiritual-but-not-religious group. Although prayer is often understood as words spoken to God, these 250-word meditations are words from the divine, addressed to one who is praying. They offer reassurance to a soul experiencing anxiety, fear, loss, confusion, doubt, loneliness and the gamut of emotions. Addressed to the pray-er, they provide a sense of being acknowledged by the divine—hence the book's title. A perspective shift from "I" to "you" also lessens the tone of self-affirmation found in Cameron's previous prayer books. The prayers are deliberately short and also, as the author acknowledges, repetitive ("issues... are not often resolved with a single prayer"), psalm-like in their brevity, plainness and fervor. The language echoes some of the most resonant and abiding promises of time-honored religion ("I am with you always"; "All things come to the good"; "I am your rock, your fortress") as well, at times, of the 12-step self-help program and its promises ("you will not regret the past or wish to slam the door on it"). This book will be helpful for those who resist conventional prayer or scripture, providing a nondogmatic entry to the disciplines of prayer and devotional reading. (Oct.)