Sunday, June 12, 2011

‘Amish Prayers’ compiled by Beverly Lewis – Book Review

Buzz this

One of my favorite topics/areas of interest since I have been a young person has been the Amish Community. I have been fascinated by them since I was about ten years old. When I was given the opportunity to review ‘Amish Prayers,’ compiled by Beverly Lewis, I knew I had to seize that opportunity!

Here is the synopsis of this sweet book:

A One-Of-A-Kind Collection of Inspiring Prayers Used by Amish and Mennonites For Over 300 Years!
The Amish and other Anabaptist groups have treasured the same book of prayers for centuries, turning to it for inspiration during times of peace as well as persecution. Now a selection of prayers from Die Ernsthafte Christenpflicht is readily available in English. This exclusive, authentic translation from the original German – with an introduction by best-selling author Beverly Lewis – pairs each prayer with a Scripture passage and offers insights into the rich spiritual foundations of the Plain people. Whether used for personal devotions or in a group setting, this beautifully illustrated collection will help draw you closer to God.

Here is the biography of Ms. Lewis:

Beverly Lewis, born in the heart of the Pennsylvania Dutch country, has more than fourteen million books in print. While Lewis’ own family heritage is Old Order Mennonite, she has many dear friends among Amish communities in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana. Her award-winning stories have been published in eleven languages and have regularly appeared on numerous bestseller lists, including The New York Times and USA Today.

In the Foreword, Beverly Lewis explains what her hope is for this book:

It is my hope that divine comfort and inspiration might spring from these remarkable Christian prayers, perhaps as a tool for confessing sin, offering thanksgiving, or guiding one’s worship. Most of all, I pray that you, the reader, might grasp some measure of the original writers’ desire for peace and protection in the midst of shared danger, as well as a fervent longing to embrace the grace and mercy of God while living in obedience to God’s teachings. (p. 11)

This book is separated by categories, including Prayers for Divine Guidance, Prayers of Gratitude, Prayers of Praise, Prayers for Strength, and Prayers of Unity.

Here is an example of one of the Prayers for Divine Guidance:

We ask You with our whole hearts, O holy, loving triune God in heaven, to build us up and establish us according to your hold will. Transform us and draw us mercifully to you. Aid us, that we may follow your commandments and serve you cheerfully and willfully.
Be our gracious bridge and way. Ever set our hearts and minds on the path of your holy and divine peace so that we may willingly cling to you and serve you as your dear children. Amen.
I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress; My God; in Him will I trust. Psalm 91:2 (p. 31)

This book includes beautiful pencil illustrations which enhance the simplicity and beauty of these prayers. This is a fairly small book which would easily fit into a purse or a laptop bag. It would make a terrific gift to give a dad or a grad, or anyone in between. The Amish have such wisdom, and couldn’t we all use more wisdom?! I thank Ms. Lewis for compiling these prayers, and making them more accessible to the masses, and to keep these prayers alive in our hearts after being available for so many centuries.

You can order this book here.

This book was published by Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

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