Award-winning religion journalists describe a recently rediscovered medieval prayer tool that provides fresh inspiration and daily prayers for contemporary Christians.
All people of faith struggle at times to sustain a flourishing prayer life--a loss felt all the more keenly in times like ours of confusion, political turbulence, and global calamity. The Prayer Wheel introduces an ancient prayer practice that offers a timeless solution for the modern faithful.
The Prayer Wheel is a modern interpretation of the Liesborn Prayer Wheel, a beautiful, almost wholly forgotten, scripture-based mode of prayer that was developed in a medieval times. The Liesborn Prayer Wheel resurfaced in 2015 in a small private gallery near New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. It faithfully and beautifully presents seven prayer paths for personal or group use. Each path invites contemplation on the "big ideas" of the Christian faith--the Lord's Prayer, the Beatitudes, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and key words from the life of Christ.
In the tradition of lectio divina and walking a labyrinth, The Prayer Wheel simply and directly takes readers into a daily, wholly unique encounter with God. As the prayers in this book unfold, readers will find an appealing guide for contemplation, a way of seeing God in new ways, and an essential new tool for Christian formation.
Dodd, former editor at OnFaith; Riess, former PW religion reviews editor; and Van Biema, former religion writer for Time, hope to stimulate Christians' interest in the Prayer Wheel, a long-lost diagram that can be used to structure a 28-day discipline of prayer. The diagram was found in a 12th-century German book of gospels that emerged at a rare book dealer in Manhattan in 2015. They begin with a cursory explanation of the wheel's origins but are primarily interested in reviving the use of the wheel to guide and enrich prayer by tying each day to a different thematic element of scripture. In concentric rings representing sections of the Bible and through seven "contemplative paths toward God" arranged like spokes through the rings he wheel uses Christianity's "big ideas" about the Lord's Prayer, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, events in the life of Christ, and the beatitudes to form a progression of prayer. Easy to follow and comprehensive, the prayer guide seems as impressively clever today as it was in the 12th century, opening the truths of faith to deeper contemplation that comes with sustained prayer and providing matter for conversation with God grounded in scripture. Some readers will wish for a little more history, but as a prayer prompt, the wheel is divine. This book will make a delightful gift for all interested in deepening their prayer life.