August Gold experienced a truly painful betrayal: a former lover stole her home. After years of bitterness that damaged her friendships, one morning when she called her friend to complain, Joel Fotinos told her to shut up and pray with him. For 90 days, Gold prayed alongside Fotinos. On day 88, her anger subsided.
Half the book consists of a collection of anecdotes from Gold’s own prayer experience or from the 90-day prayer experiences of others. The other half provides 90 days of subjects for partners to pray over.
Prayer itself is oft dismissed, maligned and confused subject. The oft-saccharine tales of miracles stemming from prayer can raise resistance to the idea of prayer as a spiritual practice. Research into the power of prayer rotates in its conclusions, sometimes effective and then in weeks proven ineffective, only to have another person run a test again. Yet prayer persists as the core expression of nearly all spirituality.
The prayer partner experience in no way resembles Prayer of Jabez or the Secret. While written from a monotheist point of view, it does not establish religious doctrine. Whether changes came to the participants through higher power or through persistent communication to the self does not matter – it offers something to try for managing persistent unhappiness.
Books written mostly from anecdotes run the risk of reading like marketing copy and this book does run into that problem. Despite the advertorial tone the examples shared appear authentic. All miracles mentioned came because of effort. Doors opened happened in reasonable ways. No magical angel visits happened, no Apocalyptic or angelic messages came through and no one won the lottery. Regular prayer seemed mostly to change how people thought.
While unsuitable for those who prefer ostentatious acts of ritual, this book does come recommended. People who already believe in the power of prayer free from expectations may find this book beneficial; also, those who simply wish to establish a daily spiritual habit can certainly use a book with 90 meditations pre-written.
~ review by Diana Rajchel
Authors: August Gold and Joel Fotinos
Hampton Roads, 2012
pp. 249 $18.95