Friday, March 28, 2014

Bookshelf: Dennis and Barbara Rainey's Two Hearts Praying as One

I got this book as a gift at my wedding shower, and instead of waiting to read it, I figured the best time to tread would be before I got married next week. Since me and my fiance share the same belief we are focused on making this a practice in our relationship, and I believe that this book covers the topic very well. I feel it's very brief, but I also don't know what they could have done to expand on it as well. They get straight to the point and personal enough that this book feels like a one on one talk.

Summary: Dennis and Barbara are founders of FamilyLife, a Christian radio talk show. In this book they try to help married couples establish the daily prayer routine to strengthen their faith and their marriage. With each chapter a new little prayer challenge is given for the day for the husband and wife to do. In the hopes of establishing a regular prayer life, the author's believe all it takes is 30 days to make something new apart of your life, so with 30 days of something in your prayer life to try they make a small book to get the reader in the habit.

Characters: The thing I really loved about the book is that the authors get personal. So many books that try to help, even romantic ones, they tend to stay for impersonal, and for something like relationships I feel those should be some of the most personal books you read. Knowing what the person who wrote the book helps to strengthen the reader's hope they book can help them as well. I also like how the husband and wife both contributed to this book. They both share their experiences from both sides, and show there is a lot more to say about the power of prayer than some might think. I also like how they encourage others to share their experiences. The Raineys don't share in the hopes that it will be a quick fix, but more so a way to strengthen your bond in all aspects of your relationship by redirecting your focus to God.

Writing: The book is written well. More so everything is presented in a simplified manner. You're not going to have to get too textbook with this book or anything. They leave enough room as well for you to have dialogue with your spouse as well as you're reading, so the intention of the book isn't for you to get so absorbed in what you're reading you forget it's to encourage interaction with your spouse, but instead leaves it open ended enough to focus back on them.

Plot: Now I will admit each chapter going over the same layout can get old, but it works with how short this book is. Each chapter presents an aspect of your prayer life to focus on, whether that be each other, the layout of your prayer, praying for family and friends, etc. By the end though some other things are addressed as well, and then the ending of each chapter gives you a prayer to start, and a bit of reflection on the chapter. Now I think this is great, and as I said earlier this directs your attention more so back on your spouse while reading then getting so into only trying to find your own help through the book.

A lot of us can forget to focus on prayer. Sometimes people feel it's discouraging to pray and not see anything happening, but this book makes a point that isn't all prayer is about. It's not just about forgive me of this and please give me this. It's also about worshiping and thanking, and even just talking, and while we may not always want to pray out loud with our spouses we should at least join together even silently as one to go before the Lord together.

Rating 9 of 10.

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