THE SURRENDER PRAYER by Kristian Lynch

THE SURRENDER PRAYER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The surrender prayer can bring peace to suffering souls according to this Christian book about personal growth.

A licensed clinical social worker, debut author Lynch laments that “hurting Christian believers…are often prevented from accessing” therapy “because of the ignorance, fear, and intolerance of much present-day, mainline, Christian religion.” Conversely, therapy without a spiritual component can shift the problem without truly addressing it. The surrender prayer is modeled on Jesus’ words as he faced crucifixion. There is a lot of buildup to it, and the prayer itself has no script, only an outline. A preface explains Lynch’s background and why he wrote this book. Then a one-page caution, entitled “Safety,” warns against prematurely bringing up issues that could trigger reactions like panic attacks, depression, or suicidal thoughts. An introduction explains how to use the work to augment the reader’s religious practices and therapy. The volume’s 21 chapters are divided into four parts entitled “Awareness,” “Acceptance,” “Surrender,” and “Prayer Group Next Steps.” (Lynch advises that while praying is often a solitary act, one’s understanding of it deepens when people share the experience.) Each chapter includes biblical verses, probing questions with lines for the reader to write down answers, and a prayer. A conclusion sums up the process, and, finally, the reader encounters the prayer template along with a summary guide and instructions. (An audio version of the template is available online at thesurrenderprayer.com.) This all sounds dry, but it’s a mature blending of faith and therapy that could also be adopted by non-Christians, though Lynch believes that everyone should embrace Jesus. It’s also a vivid repudiation of magical thinking and shallow, rule-based salvation (“prayed the ‘right’ way, listened to the ‘right’ pastor, attended the ‘right’ church”). In his helpful manual, the author advocates getting angry at God, admitting one is scared of him, working through why an individual fails to tell him some things, and letting go of the idea that one must be perfect before approaching him in prayer. Lynch’s compassion makes his exercises a rewarding experience, whatever one’s beliefs.

A striking call for the reintegration of the psyche that provides valuable steps toward healing.

Publisher: Surrendered Publishing
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:




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