Review: A Book of Uncommon Prayer

Posted January 21, 2015 in Faith, Reading, Review / 0 Comments

Review: A Book of Uncommon PrayerA Book of Uncommon Prayer by Brian Doyle
Publisher: Ave Maria Press (2014)
eARC (128 pages)
Via: NetGalley
Reading Challenges: 2015 Alphabet Soup, Read 2015


Acclaimed, award-winning essayist and novelist Brian Doyle—whose writing, in the words of Mary Oliver, is “a gift to us all”—presents one hundred new prayers that evoke his deep Catholic belief in the mystery and miracle of the ordinary (and the whimsical) in human life.
In Brian Doyle’s newest work, A Book of Uncommon Prayer: 100 Celebrations of the Miracle & Muddle of the Ordinary, his readers will find a series of prayers unlike any of the beautiful, formal, orthodox prayers of the Catholic tradition or the warm, extemporized prayers heard from pulpits and dinner tables. Doyle’s often-dazzling, always-poignant prayers include eye-opening hymns to shoes and faith and family. In Doyle’s words, “the world is crammed with miracles, so crammed and tumultuous that if we stop, see, savor, we are agog,” and the pages of his newest book give voice and body to this credo. By focusing on experiences that may seem the most unprayerful (one prayer is titled “Prayer on Seeing Yet Another Egregious Parade of Muddy Paw Prints on the Floor”), he gives permission to discover the joys and treasures in what he often calls the muddle of everyday life.

Find the book: Goodreads, Amazon, Book Depository

The word in the synopsis that drew me to this book was whimsical. First, whimsical is a cool word. Second, whimsical prayers sound like they would be delightful.

These prayers were a lot of fun to read. As I was reading I would share a few lines with my sister and she agreed with me. These prayers are fun, honest, much-needed prayers. The prayers address everything from hot showers to birds to suffering to salespeople.

This book of prayers are not just one person’s prayers. These are prayers that so many of us can make. Using our own words, we can really pray for everything, even the small things that are important even when they don’t seem to be.

Beyond just being a great collection of candid prayers, Doyle’s prayers made me think of what I should be praying for in my life. For example, I should be offering thanksgiving that I can walk rather than complaining that I walk to school in sub zero temperatures.

I really enjoyed this book.

Which Reading Challenges?

  • You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge
  • Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge (B)


I received this book for free via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

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