This is a small book (6 3/8" x 4 3/8") with a soft cover. As the title indicates, it contains daily prayers for a year. The prayers are not marked by date (ex. Jan. 1- Dec. 31), but rather numbered (Day 1 - Day 365). The font is slightly smaller than most paperback books, but it is not so fine print that the average person without eyesight issues should have any trouble. There is a ribbon bookmark attached to the binding and the prayers are also listed topically in an index in the rear (as well as each prayer having a "topic" listed above it, such as, "A Prayer about _________." Topics are varied from more broad to specific, but you won't find more than one prayer for a specific topic. In other words, they gave a different topic "title" to each of the 365 days prayers, whether they were similar or not. So, if you're looking for multiple days worth of reading on the same theme, be sure to read the whole index and look for potentially related topics. Five days of prayers take up roughly a page, and then the following 2 days (presumably weekend days if you stayed on schedule going through them in order) have shorter readings so there are two per page. I find this to be clever as I am more likely to fall behind on scheduled reading on weekends, so the shorter passages have a purpose.
As one might expect with something containing a large volume of prayers, I certainly found some of them more applicable or easier to relate to. There are a few times in the text that I feel the author takes too personal of a tone and creates a situation where the reader may find it awkward. For example, in one prayer asking for wisdom, he states, "Most would say that I am well-educated and intelligent." He does continue on to point out that knowledge is different from wisdom and he's seeking the Lord's guidance, but I could see this as a real put-off for some readers.
There are other places where the author admits he is an aggressive driver, going into a bit of detail of what goes through his mind. He also admits he has wished people would come to his church rather than attend other Christian churches. I commend him for his authenticity and honesty, but some of it has me shaking my head, wondering, why does this book have the subtitle "Strength and Joy to Begin Each Day"? The author does turn each prayer to the Lord, of course, but some entries feel much more like I am reading someone's personal prayer journal, rather than being led in prayer, praise, and worship. For example, here is a complete entry for a shorter reading day:
A prayer about SICKNESS
I awoke with a headache and feel yucky. I'm pretty sure I don't have a cold or the flu, so I'll keep moving, but I'm not at 100 percent. I have so much on the schedule today that I dare not cancel. So if you will, please ease the pain and give me strength.
There are also many prayers which I appreciate, such as:
- asking for God's guidance in making the many decisions throughout the day,
- for us to keep a right perspective,
- reminders to be good ambassadors from Christ and share the gospel rather than just identifying ourselves as Christians,
- prayer for the persecuted church,
- peace for Israel,
- for marriages between men and women to remain faithful and committed
There is at least one instance where the Parable of the (Sower and the) Seeds is utilized for only self-reflection and not applied to the spreading of the Gospel to new believers. The author was using the sower parable to request help for dealing with the "weeds" (worries) in his life. I found some of the prayers to follow a pattern of, "Here's my complaint, shortcoming or concern, God. Please, help me with that or just take it away." But there are some which also include a more direct statement indicating a need to repent or apologize over a wrongdoing.
Whether or not this is a good resource for you will likely depend a good bit on your own personality. All in all, I am disappointed that it reads more like someone else's personal prayer journal than a resource brimming with praise and worship reminding me of the steadfast truths, promises and hope that are found in Jesus Christ and His Word. It may be my fault for presuming that the focal point would be more on the Lord than on our daily life/following (application, I guess) in our walk as Christians in this imperfect world. I had different expectations from the front cover, and should have taken the back cover, which states, "Let these prayers help you release your troubles and concerns into God's care." with more emphasis.
I received a copy of this book courtesy of Tyndale House Publishers for the purpose of reviewing. I was not required to give a positive review, my opinions are honest.