ODE TO GRACE by Kathleen Walker Van  Karnes

ODE TO GRACE

A Moment of Prayer
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Van Karnes offers prayers for all occasions in this contemporary Christian book.

As far back in her life as she can remember, the author writes in her slim, heartfelt nonfiction debut, she has relied on prayer for guidance, strength, and inspiration. For all that time, and particularly through her involvement with the San Marino Community Church in California, Van Karnes has preferred—and crafted—“short, simple prayers” on broad topics like strength, reconciliation, peace, contemplation, and so on. For the author, these prayers are meant to be straightforward communications, a medium for baring the soul and asking questions of both the faithful and the Creator. A prayer titled “Peace on Earth,” for instance, begins with “Father, Peace on earth—what is my part in this?” but ends by addressing Van Karnes’ fellow faithful: “Could this change the world? Think about it. Could it change your marriage, family, church, community, state, country, or world? Is it possible? Look what Jesus did! Let’s try. Amen.” Chief among the common threads running through the author’s prayers is a bright note of optimism, a consistent reminder of human potential in the eyes of God. Repeatedly, her prayers try to evoke this uplifting connection. “We hear You whispering in our hearts,” one prayer goes. “You can do it. I love the time you spend with Me doing My work.” Like more traditional prayer books from centuries past, Van Karnes’ work is intended to be easily adaptable to a wide variety of situations and mind frames, and the prayers seem likewise keyed to cross Christian denominational boundaries and be applicable to a generous spectrum of faiths. Readers leading prayer groups or participating in them should find this collection especially useful. And even readers who do most of their praying in silence and solitude will likely find a great deal to inspire and console them here. In addition, the pages themselves are beautifully designed to evoke an old printed collection of scrolls.

A highly personal and passionate volume of Christian prayers.

Pub Date: March 7th, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-973610-48-9
Page count: 158pp
Publisher: Westbow Press
Program: Kirkus Indie
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