Non-fiction is not the easiest genre for me to read. I enjoy it, but I tend to move slowly through it. I will usually mark a few great quotes, jot down a handful of thoughts that I really want to remember, and then move on to something else. Occasionally, though, I find a non-fiction book that truly grabs my attention.
Praying with the Grain by Dr. Pablo Martinez was a book that literally grabbed me and would not let go. Having a counseling background, the premise of the book, summed up in the subtitle "How Your Personality Affects the Way You Pray," piqued my interest. But I never expected to be so greatly drawn in to the content of the book itself. Within the first ten pages, I was already ready to recommend this book to half a dozen people!
Although written by a psychiatrist, Praying with the Grain is a relatively quick and easy read for the average layperson. Dr. Martinez does include some technical and theoretical terminology related to his field, but he also clearly explains every term he makes reference to. I even found myself understanding some concepts better than I ever did in my counseling classes, simply because his explanations were so clear.
Dr. Martinez explains the different personalities, defines and discusses prayer, and deals with the apologetics of prayer. He also gives very practical, helpful insights showing why prayer is easier for some than for others. He does not outline the perfect system of prayer. Instead, he helps readers troubleshoot their own difficulties with cultivating a strong prayer life. I found myself reflected throughout the pages of this book. And, the proverbial light bulb came on for me, helping me to see ways I can grow and improve my prayer relationship with the Lord.
If there was one recommendation I would make, it would be to ask for an appendix of resources to help readers learn their personalities. While the author’s explanations are fantastic, many readers would greatly benefit from learning which evaluations they can take to help them know where they fall on the personality axis referred to in Praying with the Grain.
Beyond that, I find this book to be excellent. The chapters are long, but well divided. There is little Biblical reference in the book, but it is obvious that Dr. Martinez leans heavily on Scripture as the final authority for his perspective. Although some Christians might take issue with the author’s suggestions for mental prayer aids or his perspective on meditation, there was nothing in this book that truly caused me concern. On the contrary, this is a book I will frequently and enthusiastically loan out, give away, and recommend.
This book was sent to me by Kregel in exchange for my honest review.