As a continuation of Carpenter’s debut, Spiritual Soul Train Ride (2016), this collection explores several Christians’ experiences with prayer.
On each “stop” of the soul train, an individual or group shares a unique story about ways that prayer has been helpful. We meet women who exercise and worship together, a couple that took a mission trip to Kenya, a woman who improved her disintegrating marriage, a music pastor with an active prayer life and a deep desire to serve God, and others. Several themes recur—the need to make time for reflection and prayer and the ability of God to bring a person direction, comfort, healing, and miraculous experiences. Each section includes a “Scripture Call” that highlights a relevant Bible passage and provides a blank space for readers to record their religious musings. Carpenter’s writing is lucid and uplifting: “God wants to hear all of our prayers, but then God wants us close enough to him so we listen and feel his will. As we advance, we will do less talking and more listening and praying to contemplate the will of God.” She has chosen her stories well, and the diverse participants—a Methodist minister, a Baptist farrier, a devout young college student, an elderly Catholic couple—make this guide appealing to a wide Christian audience. Some technical aspects need improvement, however; for example, some of the reflection sections need more space for readers to adequately record their thoughts, and the photographs should be placed near the corresponding text. The ideas in this book aren’t particularly original (pray often and for anything you stand in need of), but they might serve as a persuasive reminder to ask and perhaps receive.
Simple, if nongroundbreaking, reflections on asking for God’s help.