Monday, October 22, 2012

Yours Is the Day, Lord Yours is the Night by Jeanie & David Gushee

Yours Is the Day, Lord Yours is the Night by Jeanie & David Gushee is a compendium of prayers collected from a variety of sources from the Catholic and Protestant churches. The appropriate title is an excerpt from an anonymous prayer that is included on April 19th- for the evening.   This exhaustive compilation includes prayers from Catholic popes such as Pope John Paul II and Catholic saints such as Francis of Assisi and  therese of Lisieux as well as ancient forefathers such as Martin Luther, Charles Spurgeon, Aquinas and Augustine.  Also included are prayers from well known authors of literature, Mark Twain, and Ralph Waldo Emerson.  There are prayers from the first century Christians as well as modern day authors, including a few contemporary prayers from the Gushees. As I turned to October 31- out of curiosity to see the selected prayer, it was a pleasant suprise to see a Halloween themed- traditional Scottish prayer for the evening selection: "From ghoulies and ghosties and long- leggity beasties, and all things that go bump in the night, Good Lord, deliver us!".

There are two prayers selected for each of the 365 days of the year: a morning and evening prayer. Also included are seasonal themed prayers that correspond to the liturgical calendar of "Movable Holy Days" and seasons such as Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Palm Sunday, Advent, Ordinary Time and Lent.  There may be many non denomindational or independant bible students and  believers who may not understand these references- celebrated by the Catholic church and its "main stream" off shoots, as many non denominational or independantg churches simply do not recognise or celebrate some of these days.  Or perhaps they do not use the Roman Catholic terminology.  Nevertheless I do not feel that the inclusion of this calendar or its references detract from the overall purpose of this book.  Also included are traditional religious artwork, depicting scenes such as the visit of the magi,  presentation of the temple, and last supper- complete with the dainty cherubs and angels as well as the traditional religious halo or "starburst" eminationg from the heads of the main revered subject. Any believer of any denomination will appreciate this prayer book.  Ironically, I feel that despite the numerous inclusion of Catholic recognised saints and popes, the Catholics might not approve of the references of "Saint" being ommitted from some of their more popular forefathers such as St Francis, St John of the Cross, St. Aquinas and St Patrick. 

Initially, based on the appearance of this book I assumed it was just another debotional book- filled with prayers or devotions written by the Gushee couple.  But this was not the case.  This prayer book is a good resource.  It may serve as an encycopedia of prayers throughout Christianity. The prayer book is well suited for the theological student as well as an individual who appeciates prayers throughout historical periods.  This book is also perfect for personal devotions or study. The reader should keep in mind some of the old English styled translations of the more ancient prayers may be difficult for some uneducated readers to follow or understand.  Yet I feel the varied "voices" and styles make this the unique aqnd original prayer book that sets it apart from the ssaturated market of simplistic modern prayers that are so common today.  As a blogger for booksneeze I recieved this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers for the purpose of writing this review.

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