Prayer is not an act we perform, but a response to God's reaching out to us. In this introduction to the practice of praying with scripture, Smith shows how the Bible can guide our response in prayer. Many scriptural passages thematically arranged help us move from ordinary conversation with God to meditative prayer.
The book's title is taken from Deuteronomy 30:14 ("The word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it.") is a relief, a promise, and a challenge. Smith's straightforward, flowing prose sparkles with natural wit and insight as he describes how laypeople can participate in the ancient practice of lectio divina ("holy reading"), a very slow, meditative engagement with Scripture whose effects flow out into a person's whole inner and outer life.
The first half of this book explains what meditative prayer is, and how it often works in the life of a believer. The second half contains suggested themes and biblical passages for prayer.
Martin L. Smith is an Episcopal monk in the Society of Saint John the Evangelist.