Most people know what it means to have a crisis of faith, to struggle spiritually. Jared Brock sensed something was missing in his prayer life so he embarked on a yearlong, 37,000 mile journey around the world to rediscover the power of prayer. He wrote about his journey in "A Year of Living Prayerfully: How a curious traveler met the Pope, walked on coals, danced with Rabbi's, and revived his prayer life".
Jared is a spiritual speaker but it is amazing because he was kicked out of Sunday school permanently in grade 5. When he had the experience of Amsterdam and being faced with the issue of Sex Trafficking it wrecked him for humanity and he wanted to get back to that first love experience. In the middle ages people used to go on prayer pilgrimages - they would take a year out of life to focus on things above. He and his wife are passionate about rescuing sexually trafficked women and that is just part of what God has expanded in his heart.
His grandfather prayed for him every day, even before he was born and this book is dedicated to him (Clarence Black). From the day that his grandfather found out his mom was pregnant with him he started praying every day for him until the day about a year ago when his grandfather forgot his name. So he hopes he can carry on that prayerful legacy.
He talks about having a dark night of the soul that lasted some time - a chapter of depression that God used to press you to Him. He shares that he is not alone in that. Even Mother Theresa shared that she had 50 years where she only had a few moments of light. The Christian life is beautiful but it's not always easy, faith has been a struggle for him because as a writer he is in his head so much that is can be hard to just stop and listen to that still small voice of God. He admits that he has had seasons of doubt and he is sure it will happen again but it was really refreshing to have a season of talking to the most brilliant people in the world, experiencing the entire Judeo-Christian prayer tradition.
He even ended up eating lunch with Pope Francis! They ended up meeting the Pope and having lunch at the Vatican with his personal aid. They got to ask him one question about prayer and then they had an hour to talk to his aid. They actually got the invite on Skype at 10PM on a Saturday night (the night before their meeting). It was completely surreal, the Pope actually asked him twice to pray for him. Here's a leader of a billion person church realizing and recognizing his great need for a power higher then himself. What impressed him most was his desperate dependence on God. He gave them rosaries as gifts that were stamped with his insignia, "Lowly, but Chosen". He said no to the Papal Palace and instead lives in a spare room in the guest house, he eats in the cafeteria.
"Do not be content to live a mediocre Christian life, walk with determination, along the path of holiness" ~ Pope Francis
He has brought so much home from this journey for his prayer life. One thing he learned is the idea of connecting physicality to spirituality. Praying the Jesus prayer as you breath in and breath out with the idea that every breathe will become a prayer, pray without ceasing. Prayer is a part of everything we do. He learned about silence, listening during prayer time. Through prayer life changes happen.
They are praying that this book connects people to Christ in prayer and that they can give away to things in need through the money raised through this book.
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