From Katie Kennedy
We’re always being told that there is a right way and a wrong way to do faith and religion. But Joy Wilson breaks down those barriers in her book, Uncensored Prayer, inviting readers to look at, and experience, prayer a different way. She encourages us to leave the mantras and censored relationships we have with God behind in exchange for a more honest, more fulfilling ways of relating to Him.
“This book is then about an invitation to engage in the practice of wrestling with God through uncensored prayer”
It’s okay to be angry with God, to question Him, to be honest with Him and ourselves, she tells us. She explains that our relationships with God don’t have to be defined by pre-written prayers or by pre-established ways of thought, that it’s okay – and even important – to wrestle with Him, to “take it to the mat”, as she says in her book.
What some may consider blasphemous, I consider brilliant.
I really enjoyed this book. It’s honest, it’s raw in that she even shows us some of her own wrestling, opening up herself – her pains, her struggles – and showing us the dynamic relationship she has with God. This is what people need to see. It’s okay, and *important* (haha, I can’t stress that enough), to open up and trust God enough to be our honest selves with Him. That’s how the real growth is made, where the real benefit comes from. It’s what makes all the difference.
I also love how this book calls into question the way many people I know believe about God. She portrays Him, not as some judgmental, wrathful Being, but as the loving, compassionate God I believe Him to be. She speaks of how there are no limits to God’s love, that “we are equal opportunity members of God’s family” (page 40). She speaks of God as a “jail breaker, rather than a jailer” (page 46), stresses the love and honor He already has for each of us. This, I believe, is so true, so huge, and I love that she does stress this, that it’s not about being good enough, but that it’s in recognizing how much He loves us *as we are*, now, already, even in our imperfect states. This is such a refreshing change from the other ways we’ve been expected to think about God, and I love how she stands in so great a contrast with those other ways of thinking.
This book is one that needs to be read by anyone and everyone who believes, in any way, in prayer, anyone who incorporates prayer into their way of faith and religious practice. This is definitely a side of faith that people need to know is available to them.
I’d like to wrap up this review by quoting, from the intro, a passage that kind of sums up the book in a way much better than I know I’m doing myself, lol. It’s a passage that really touched me, and it does well to give a real feel for the rest of the book. I quote :
“Wrestling with God is not about religion. Religion has nothing to do with this practice. Religion demands we bow our heads in subjection to a set of rules and regulations that tell us we’re not good enough for God. Wrestling allows us to lift our heads in dignity, as we embrace the unconditional love of God for us. We struggle with Him out of relationship, not duty”. (page 9)
– I received a copy free in exchange for review from Civitas Press –
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