Restore your soul through prayer. Those are the words on the back cover. I have to admit that I went into this book a skeptic. I expected something along the lines of Prayer of Jabez or some other rote prayer that claims to bring you health and wealth. That is NOT this book. 21 Seconds to Change Your World, by Dr. Mark Rutland, walks through the Lord’s Prayer and Psalm 23 in an exegetical fashion, comparing the words, thoughts and intentions of the authors of each text.
The Book is broken up into three parts: The Journey Begins, which explains the intent of the book and the importance of these two prayers; The Lord’s Prayer and Psalm 23, the meatiest section in which both of the prayers are examined thoroughly and compared to one another; and the third section, To Change Your World, gives the reader ideas and thoughts about how to use these two prayers to your personal benefit and to impact the community and world around you.
There are so many things about this book that make it worth reading. First, the unpacking of both the Lord’s Prayer and Psalm 23. I have both of these prayers memorized and have for most of my life. However, after reading the chapters in the second section of this book, I have a much deeper understanding of the intentions of their authors and a much greater appreciation for the beauty of their words. The author is obviously very knowledgeable and well-studied on the topics, but he is also so humble and kind in his style of writing. I felt as though I was listening to my own pastor, whom I thoroughly love and respect. Another reason this book is worth reading is the last few chapters. These chapters are the “what to do next” chapters. After studying the Lord’s Prayer and Psalm 23 in the previous 19 chapters, the last five chapters gave me some practical ways to use these beautiful, Biblical prayers to help me in so many different ways – inner healing, intimacy with God, deliverance from temptations, just to name a few.
Over the last week or so since I finished this book, I have been reciting the Lord’s Prayer and Psalm 23 regularly (21 seconds a day) and the impact in my own heart and life has been real and measurable. I am more calm. My priorities are easier to determine. My fears have been more manageable. My stress is lower. I have even been able to walk away from temptation multiple times a day (I have a massive addiction to soda and sweets). This book is not a magic formula in and of itself. But it does have wonderful instruction on how to use scripture to become more committed to Jesus, more in tune with the Holy Spirit and more effective in life and in ministry. I whole-heartedly recommend that everyone read this book!
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book through Baker Books Bloggers. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.