Each Lent I choose to add a spiritual discipline or practice to my routine. With a new child in my life, I hadn’t really given this much thought this year. Somewhat organically, I found myself spending more time in prayer. I would find myself awake at night and instead of reading or putting Netflix on, I prayed.

519m4tktdJL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_I prayed for my new baby girl and my wife. I prayed for my church and my family. I prayed for wisdom and guidance. I prayed for my youth group and what God may be calling me to each day.

So, when I received a copy of Jared Brock‘s A Year of Living Prayerfully, I thought the timing was incredible. In his book, Jared, like other writers before him, goes on a year-long journey to learn more about prayer and go deeper in his own prayer life.

Jared has a video on YouTube that offers a glimpse into his writing style.

You can get a sense of his humor. While he takes the reader on a serious journey into the meaning of prayer in our lives, he does it with grace and humor. Like a good preacher, who brings the congregation into a place of trust and wonder, Jared brings the reader along for the crazy things that happen to him. From not bowing in North Korea to attempting to meet Billy Graham, Jared’s humor provides an entrance for this journey.

The spiritual life has often been described as a journey, so it is appropriate that Jared literally goes on a year-long journey to learn about prayer. What I appreciated about Jared’s writing, as much as his humor, was the teaching that he did along the way. He did not assume the reader knew everything about all the places and people he mentioned, nor did he assume the reader was stupid. He struck a good balance as he narrated church history, theology, and his own experiences.

And best of all, Jared gives solid advice at the end of the book, the end of his prayer journey.

“One year ago, prayer was a way of asking things from God. Today it has a prized new definition for me: prayer is simply a constant communion with Christ.”

And this is what Jared reminds us of: prayer is relational.  It’s not so much following the rules or reciting the right words. It’s about spending time with our divine Parent.

Whether you feel like something is missing in your prayer life or just looking to refresh your prayer life, Jared’s book would be a good fit for you.