A Part-Time Monk

Recently, I had the opportunity to attend SUMMIT – a gathering of believers at Abilene Christian University.  While there, I picked up a book (surprise) by ACU professor Randy Harris.  Soul Work: Confessions of a Part-Time Monk is only 156 pages long.  That said, the information contained is worthy of at least double that.

I think what caught my eye initially was a Church of Christ (non-instrumental) professor claiming to be a part-time monk.  After reading the back of the book and introduction, I realized the work was on prayer.  But this one seemed different.  Usually, books on prayer are tedious and work through every passage on prayer.  I’ve realized for years my need to have a stronger prayer life.  I suppose that is part of becoming like Jesus.  But the cumbersome books on prayer on my shelves are many.  And those that have really spoke to where I’m at are few and far between.

I figured I had enough time to devote to 156 pages.  As a friend says, “Come on people!”  That’s nothing.  So I picked it up and began to read.  Let me say this:  Smart.  Funny.  Impactful.  Harris spent forty days with hermits (and more importantly) and God.  As he says, if you want to learn about prayer, learn from those who are good at praying.

I love Harris’ humor.  He’s willing to laugh at himself and the Church.  He makes serious points using humor – a great gift for a communicator.  Although I don’t know Harris, I can hear and see his heart throughout the book.  His genuine desire to be a follower of Christ jumps off of every page.  The book challenged my definition of prayer and offered many things I need to work on.

Let me encourage you.  If prayer is something you’re interested in (you should be if you’re a follower of Christ), read this stuff!  You will laugh.  You will be challenged.  You will be convicted!  For those of you close, it’s on my shelf (and will be for some time).  First come, first served.


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