Prayer in the Night: For Those Who Work or Watch or Weep

IVP. Jan. 2021. 220p. ISBN 9780830846795. $22. REL
They say timing is everything, and while Warren’s (Liturgy of the Ordinary) latest work would have stood out among the many books on prayer at any time, it is particularly relevant in the age of COVID-19 when so many people find themselves working, watching, or weeping in the face of uncertainty. Warren, a priest in the Anglican Church, opens her book describing her life-threatening miscarriage. Amid the pain and confusion of the frantic treatment to stop her bleeding, Warren and her husband, also a priest, decide to pray the Compline. From the book of Common Prayer, the Compline is the last prayer of the day, designed for the nighttime to reflect on God’s love and protection. Warren affirms the need for traditional, formal prayer as well as the “free form” prayer familiar to most of us. Her heartfelt treatise, arguing for the essentiality of “other peoples’ words” to sustain our faith, is at once challenging and comforting, reminding us that when our world is shaken, we are strengthened by the very traditions that we tend to eschew during more certain times.
VERDICT An accessible and timely book on the power of prayer.
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