It’s rewarding to have your beliefs affirmed, especially in a publication. I’ve always thought that praying was meant to be a conversation with God; a time to acknowledge His greatness and thank Him for His provisions. More than a celestial wish-granter, I believe that God is concerned with our thoughts, feelings, needs and wants. While He does answer prayers, He is also interested in a relationship with us. So, I never thought that it was necessary to monologue in endlessly formal language in order to pray. Mark Littleton agrees and admirably backs up his beliefs in THE TEN-SECOND PRAYER PRINCIPLE.
Littleton begins this lively little book with his introduction: “Confessions of a Lousy Pray-er.” He admits to being intimidated by the thought of praying for hours. Recalling a statement he heard once, “I have so much to do today that I’ll have to spend the first three hours in prayer or the devil will get the victory.” He goes on to respond, “Three hours? Of prayer? In the morning when my brain is foggy as Seattle in April?” Like most of us, he can only imagine the passion necessary to spend three hours praying. And then he feels guilty for lacking sufficient spirituality.
On the one hand, we want God to know that we care enough about our relationship to spend time with Him, praying and meditating on His Word. On the other, we know that we have difficulty staying focused for more than a few minutes before we start wandering off to our “Must Do” list or noticing that the floor needs mopping. I believe that THE TEN-SECOND PRAYER PRINCIPLE provides a viable solution to our dilemma. Littleton leads by example as he explains how to take advantage of the many opportunities we have throughout the day to praise, thank and beseech.
The author goes on to develop other principles that encourage using prompts like “The Media Principle” and “The Lists Principle.” These tools are designed to act as reminders to pray as we go. While these methods are not meant to replace periods of devotional time, they definitely allow for a more meaningful relationship with the Lord.
Mark Littleton is not one to take his faith lightly, but he has the kind of relaxed approach to religion that may seem irreverent to some. For example, a few of his previous titles include: THE BIBLE BATHROOM BOOK, LIVING LIFE TO THE MAX, JESUS: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW TO FIGURE HIM OUT. Each of these demonstrates his desire to demystify Christianity and to assure people that God loves them, just the way they are.
Reviewed by Maggie Harding on November 6, 2007