by Janell Moon
Red Wheel/Weiser 2004 $24.95 US
Review by Erin
Apparently I’m now getting advanced copies of books that aren’t available for purchase yet. For example, “The Prayer Box” is due out in April of 2004, according to Amazon.com and is an interesting release.
It’s not a book that’s difficult to review, as there is not a whole lot of content. Let me give you my impressions in the order I experienced them.
When I opened the envelope, I instinctively questioned the appropriateness of the request for review. The title on the box suggested that it would make a better offering to a Christian someplace, as Pagans as a general rule aren’t into prayer. But I resolved to open it and give this a fair review.
I pulled out two books and a whole bunch of notepaper with a background feather imprinted on it. The feather matched the feather graphic on the box and books. I first looked in the actual prayer book. The second book is a prayer journal, and it’s blank. So, 100 sheets of blank paper, one book of blank paper, one book of information regarding the use of the blank paper, and a box made of paper. It’s an environmentalist’s nightmare.
I delved into the actual book of instruction on paper use. It is 85 pages of information on prayer. Stories about prayer, how other faiths pray, what prayer means to the author. She shares inspirational stories about her life as a child and those in her family who prayed. She talks about her desire to pray and how prayer changed her life.
There is information in this book about the technique you should use to make the best use of the prayer box. She suggests that you write your prayers down on the papers after writing thoughts out in the journal and isolating key elements of what is needed in your life based on what you just wrote. Depending on what you have written, you can burn the papers or put the prayers into the box and then putting the box on your altar.
All in all, it’s not a bad book in and of itself. Reading it is like reading a self-help book and there is good advice throughout. The stories are very good and uplifting. I think that this could have been done as a stand-alone book, instead of a boxed kit. This smacks too much of the “Teen Witch Kit” for my taste. Had this been published simply as a book, with suggestions for purchasing a journal and some stationary for the other needed components, I would rate this higher. As it is, you are paying nearly $25 for things that could be bought for $3 at a stationary store and the book to go with it.
I’m reluctantly giving this work 3 stars out of 5. This is ONLY because I think the book is worth it as a guide to meditation and as a starting point for your own growth in spirituality. I don’t think the papers and blank journal are worth this. I’d suggest that if you don’t have the money don’t worry about purchasing this particular volume. The book is well written and is a reasonably good addition to those libraries where massive spiritual change is needed.