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Q: Where did the material that became A Book of Simple Prayers originate?

A: That’s a good question.  The truth is, I never set out to write this book.  In fact, I never set out to write prayers at all.  But there was a span of time when I didn’t find it easy to pray, but, when I went to write one of the things I had to write, a prayer would come.  I could not begin whatever project was before me until I cleared my mind of the prayer that was tumbling from my heart onto the page.  In the beginning, I kept them in a small pocket-sized notebook, but soon the notebook was full and the prayers kept pouring out.

Q: How long did this period of prolific prayer journaling last?

A: This book contains snapshots of my story that unfolded over a year or two.  Up to that time, I had not had a similar experience, and I haven’t since.

Q: Why did you wait so long to share these prayers with other people?  What changed your mind about that?

A: For a long time I treasured these prayers and kept them hidden, reading them sometimes in my most private times.  I thought my journey was unique and much too personal to reveal to anyone else.  But as the months and now years have passed, I am coming to know that my story is not unique.  It is not even my own, but a story within a much larger story.  In working with people across the country and around the world, I’ve come to know that most of us go through times that re-route our prayer life.  I think as people eavesdrop on these dialogues with the Lord (at least, as they hear my side of the conversation), they will recognize bits of themselves.

Q: What kinds of prayers are included in this book?

A: These prayers cover a wide range of topics, from the big questions of faith to the simple, miraculous pleasures—like waking up beside the man I love—that draw spontaneous thanksgiving and praise.  Basically, they revolve around the events of my life over a few years.  I prayed for family and friends, for my little grandson as he started school, and for my daughter as she was in labor.  I have always marveled at God’s exquisite creation, so there are several prayers to that effect.  I sought the Lord when the world was so obviously racked by turmoil, when I saw disturbing things on the news, and on nights when I couldn’t sleep.  One day, after the tragic death of a friend’s young son, I didn’t know what to say to God—and I told Him so.  One theme that pops up often is a desire to grow, to walk ever more closely with my Lord.

Q: What do you hope this book will accomplish in the lives of readers?

A: The more I come to recognize my story’s place in God’s grander Story, my once bewildered questions are turning to psalms of thanksgiving at the wonder that I have been included in what he is doing.  It is my hope that as people read these prayers, they will catch a glimpse of the Author behind it all. 

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