Monday, July 5, 2010

Review for "Mystically Wired" by Ken Wilson

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A refreshing change from the usual fare on prayer for the evangelical Christian! Ken Wilson, in his book "Mystically Wired: Exploring New Realms in Prayer" has introduced his readers to some old practices of prayer explained in a contemporary way. Wilson makes his case for practices of prayer that are refreshing, renewing, even relaxing instead of requiring more effort and a sense of duty. The book uses an enjoyable mix of personal stories, a scientific understanding of how our brains work, Church history, and biblical theology to explain these practices and why they work. Wilson writes with a candor that is sometimes humorous, sometimes blunt, and most often right on target. No need to be afraid of the title - this is not a book on mysticism in the New Age sense - this book is Christian and has a solid biblical and theological foundation. As Wilson wrote, he "likes [his] religious books straight up and not served on the rocks of some other religion."

I have learned to appreciate practices of prayer that were foreign to my evangelical upbringing, things such as breath prayers, contemplative prayers, praying the Office, the Jesus prayer, and Christian meditation. I enjoyed reading this book which described these types of "old" prayers in a refreshing new way. I was intrigued by the scientific explanations of how our brains really are "wired" to pray in certain ways by our Creator! I believe this book will be helpful to many Christians who may struggle with a prayer life that seems dutiful, stuck on lists, and is generally not very "connecting" to God. While I sometimes wished there were more practical "how-tos", the book successfully introduces several methods of prayer with enough detail for the reader to begin, and then certainly delve deeper with other resources if desired. Thank you, Ken, for the courage to write this book and share your experience with connecting to God in prayer!

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