Today I have finally completed Ten Prayers God Always Says Yes To by Anthony DeStefano, the author of A Travel Guide to Heaven. Honestly, I was initially apprehensive about reading this book because I thought it would be another book by a Protestant televangelist trying to tell everyone "Jesus is Lord. Believe and be saved for all your prayers to be answered." Thankfully, the book Ten Prayers God Always Says Yes To is nothing like that.
Each chapter focuses on a separate prayer that God always says "yes" to. Importantly, the author also states that prayer is not magic - God will answer these prayers only if they come from the heart. The prayers covered a wide-range of topics from money and suffering to our destiny.
The Ten Prayers:
1) God, show me that you exist
2) God, make me an instrument
3) God, outdue me in generosity
4) God, get me through this suffering
5) God, forgive me
6) God, give me peace
7) God, give me courage
8) God, give me wisdom
9) God, bring good out of this bad situation
10) God, lead me to my destiny
In the book, Anthony DeStefano writes in a very simple, understandable manner and utilizes anecdotes and real-life examples. As someone that prefers theologically and philosophically complicated books, I actually found the book too simple at times. However, this book is certainly written perfectly for the average person seeking to reach God through prayer when it seems that hundreds of other prayers have gone unanswered. In addition, DeStafano incorporates hundreds of scriptural footnotes for those readers seeking to further find God through the words of Holy Scripture. One thing I also enjoyed about the book was DeStafano not only refers to Jesus as the Son of God but also as the second person of the Trinity. Such references help dispel the heresy that Jesus Christ is not divine.
Below is a short summary of a few of the prayers. Read the entire book for much more information on each of the prayers. This book is published by Double Day Publishing.
DeStafano cites one of the most common references to peace in the Bible. From Jesus Christ: "My peace I give to you" (John 14:27). One of my favorite parts of the book is the profound image of the Resurrection. Jesus Christ, the second person of the Blessed Trinity, took flesh to die. He suffered unimaginable pains and tortures before being condemned to death. And when Our Lord rose again in glorious splendor, He took a moment of time to roll up the burial clothes and pleace them neatly on the side. DeStafano's incorporation of this image of our peaceful Lord after His brutal Crucifixion is incredibly profound when the reader understands the pains Our Lord previously endured.
As stated by the author on page 100, "Deliberate sin, by definition excludes peace." We must seek peace only through seeking to live in union with God without sin. This prayer is not necessarily instant like some of the other ones mentioned previously because the response from God depends the state of our souls. Changing our lives into one that is peace-filled can often involve an unpeaceful journey. However, as Christ said, "Do not let your hearts be troubled." As the author brillantly states, "Definition of true peace is union with God" (108).
Courage is not just used to combat our fears. As defined on page 117, "Courage is the cornerstone and linchpin of the entire moral order." Statements like "Fear not" or "Do not be afraid" appear 144 times in Sacred Scripture. A couragous person is a person willing to sacrifice himself for something greater.
Wisdom, one of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, is the ability to see the world from God's perspective. God is even identified with wisdom in Proverbs 2:6, 8:12. Another profound statement by DeStafano was when he writes, "When you ask God for wisdom, you are essentially asking him to give you the gift of Himself." But, the author also appropriately discusses that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
Note: Ten Prayers God Always Says Yes To has an Imprimatur from Bishop John Yanta of Amarillo, Texas
Monday, May 28, 2007
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