Come on, a book about prayer that says you shouldn’t do it? Well, not exactly. In fact, not at all. Never Pray Again: Lift your head, unfold your hands and get to work (Chalice Press, 2014) certainly is about praying. But it is about praying in a certain kind of way. The merry band of Aric Clark, Doug Hagler, and Nick Larson identify ways to pray through engagement with our foci of ultimate concern, i.e., the things we would normally pray about we rather engage with.
The underlying theology is one of immanence, God active and manifested within the world. If one is to pray and pray to that God then the object of prayer is near at hand and prayer can be an action within that field of engagement.
Let me cut to the chase with one of my favorite summary statements in the book: “Your intercession is too urgently required for you to waste time on your knees, whispering words to a deity you imagine to be distant. God is right beside you, right now.” (90)
Lest you think this is one of those typical spirituality or action dualistic tomes, think again. It might more closely resemble another of the well-respected paths in the Christian tradition, the path of prayerful reflection-action.
I recommend the book highly. It’s great for seasoned practitioners of the faith who want to hone a dull edge. Rank and file questioning skeptics will find their eyebrows raising with each chapter. And small discussion groups will have no end to the lively debates it engenders.
Love it or hate it Never Pray Again isn’t going to leave you sitting there unaffected. And that’s the whole point.
You may order your copy here.