6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A Surprising Showcase of Americans at Prayer,
This review is from: The Treasury of American Prayers (Hardcover)
They pray at rates higher than in many other countries around the world and research has shown, over and over again, that the grassroots significance of faith is one of the defining characteristics of American culture and values.
But what we may not realize is the enormous diversity of that prayer. Thanks to years of research and cooperative work by James P. Moore Jr. (whose original profession was in government service and business), we now know more about this rich relationship between men and women -- and the higher power who they feel is so close at hand. Sparked by a search for examples of prayer at the death of his own father in the mid 1990s, Moore began his own research and soon connected with an impressive array of other professionals. Eventually, his work led to the book "Prayer in America: A Spiritual History of Our Nation" and to a PBS series on prayer, funded by the Templeton Foundation.
Those are great resources, but I recommend this as a first choice, if you're interested in this theme, because the "Treasury" is an anthology with short biographical notes on the person behind each prayer -- and prayers that many of us will be moved to make our own, I suspect.
You'll find landmarks like the prayer the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. voiced in his famous night in his kitchen that transformed his faith. You'll find heart-felt lines so plain that they'll make you catch your breath -- like a prayer musician David Crosby voiced as he headed into surgery to replace his liver after years of self-destructive living.
Personally, I'm most drawn to the prayers written and voiced under tough circumstances -- prayers by Holocaust survivors, prayers after 9/11, prayers by Native Americans voiced in the face of destructive change, just to name a few categories.
The book is not organized for small-group study, but I also can recommend this for small groups. The volume is divided into 15 thematic categories, including "Peace and Justice," "Courage and Strength," "Family" and "World." It would be fairly easy for a group leader to select 4 or 8 of these themes for a one-month or two-month discussion.