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What is this wonderful means of inner peace and tranquility? It is called prayer. Yes, prayer. . . ."" By his own account, the author was a difficult business man with a short fuse. While on a business trip to England, he wandered into Canterbury Cathedral to fill in time waiting for a car repair, and was overtaken by vespers. Sitting down, he heard a prayer read from his tradition (we are not told which), and idly brooding on it, found his worries fall into proportion and under control. From this start he developed a simple practice of prayer which, he says, works for men and women of all faiths or none: once or twice a day think over for 15 minutes some form of words that prompts feelings of peace and tranquility. (The prescription is later extended to include intercessory prayer for others.) There is some analysis of stress as the condition prayer comes to cure. There is also some examination of the way prayer works for the individual, and this explicitly does not require the action of a god addressed. The last 20% of the book is a collection of one- or two-sentence prayers from John Wesley, the Jewish Home Prayer Book, Sappho, Lady Jane Grey, and so on. Though it often sounds all too pat, and the manner is deliberately pop, this short book is practical and genuine enough, if hardly more substantial than a good magazine article.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1977
Publisher: Simon & Schuster