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A Year of Living Prayerfully: How a Curious Traveler Met the Pope, Walked on Coals, Danced with Rabbis, and Revived His Prayer Life
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A Year of Living Prayerfully: How a Curious Traveler Met the Pope, Walked on Coals, Danced with Rabbis, and Revived His Prayer Life

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  508 ratings  ·  103 reviews
Is Anyone Listening? Do My Prayers Really Change Anything?

Jared Brock sensed that something was missing in his prayer life, so he embarked on a yearlong journey to rediscover the power of prayer (and eat some delicious falafel).

* Dances with Hasidic Jews in Brooklyn
* Discovers the 330-year-old home of Brother Law
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published March 1st 2015 by Tyndale House Publishers (first published February 19th 2015)
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Jeani Hommerding I just finished this book and LOVED it! It ignites a desire to seek God and learn to be in constant prayer. After all he is our Father.... who doesn't…moreI just finished this book and LOVED it! It ignites a desire to seek God and learn to be in constant prayer. After all he is our Father.... who doesn't want to spend more time with Him. Jared's writing is so easy to read, full of humor and insight. (less)

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Average rating 4.18  · 
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 ·  508 ratings  ·  103 reviews

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Start your review of A Year of Living Prayerfully: How a Curious Traveler Met the Pope, Walked on Coals, Danced with Rabbis, and Revived His Prayer Life
Natalie Vellacott
This was definitely a unique book which will make it appeal to some. However, I'm not sure that the reader will learn much about Christian prayer, the subject of the book. It is more of a study in the traditions and practices of various religious denominations and some cults. It is interesting none-the-less but my concern is that it might lead some people down some dangerous paths. Christians who are not grounded in the Word might be side-tracked to pursue some of these extra-biblical ideas whic ...more
Paula Vince
Mar 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Jared Brock and his wife, Michelle, wanted to be more effective in their prayer lives. He claims to have been more of a dwarf sapling than the giant spiritual oak he wanted to be. What follows is a fascinating pilgrimage around the world to locations of several prayer greats, some living and some dead. If there were any secrets to a powerful prayer lifestyle along the way, Jared was determined to find them. What he offers us is not another 'how to' book on prayer techniques, but a candid series ...more
Rebecca Jo
Jul 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I cant say enough about this book.

The journal a man took over a year to find out what prayer means to others, to different religions, to different countries - how it can change in his own life & bring he & his wife closer to God.

The travels & adventure took him literally over the world as he went to Italy, England, North Korea & leading him to leaders of churches, including a face to face with the pope, getting near Benny Hinn & even trying to get in to see Billy Graham.

This book is so full of i
Jason Stanley
Mar 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
So, when I received a copy of Jared Brock‘s A Year of Living Prayerfully, I thought the timing was incredible. In his book, Jared, like other writers before him, goes on a year-long journey to learn more about prayer and go deeper in his own prayer life.

You can get a sense of his humor. While he takes the reader on a serious journey into the meaning of prayer in our lives, he does it with grace and humor. Like a good preacher, who brings the congregation into a place of trust and wonder, Jared b
Kara of BookishBytes
Jul 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Mr. Brock is a practicing Christian with pretty consistent experience praying. But, in an attempt to deepen his communication with God, he sets out to experience a variety of the world's prayer traditions and philosophies. He spends time with Greek Orthodox monks, goes to a Tony Robbins seminar, attends a televangelist revival, visits Jerusalem and, yes, meets the Pope. As the author describes his varied experiences, he also shares which of his experiences and the prayer styles he encountered fe ...more
Rebekah Fay
I picked up this book when Jared Brock came to speak at my church, River Hills Christian Church in Loveland, Ohio. I loved this book! I learned so much about prayer and chuckled quite a bit along the way (especially at the footnotes). So insightful, informative, and humorous. Highly recommend!
Liza Gutierrez
Mar 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I enjoy this book so much.Is a not stop laughing.As well as a very delight reading.Five stars
Steven R. McEvoy
Mar 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book was recommended to me by my mother-in-law. She was reading it and loving it. She was laughing out loud, laughing so hard she has to stop reading. The idea of the book I though was really intriguing, travel the world, encounter other faith traditions, focus on how they pray, and learn to find your own way into prayer. When I started the book I was very eager to follow Jared around the world and through the various traditions. And to be honest for the first few chapters the excitement st ...more
Sophie Rayton
May 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
I thought this was lots of fun and a great idea. Jared and his wife Michelle come across as very nice and fun people. I disagree with some of his views, but that didn't spoil my enjoyment of the book.
Eliza Fitzgerald
This was better then I expected. I thought it was just going to be silly (and some of it was) but he actually comes away with some really good insights about prayer through his journey.
Mar 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: spiritual
The author compares prayer methods and meanings across continents in this funny and fascinating travelogue to exotic locales. The visit to North Korea was especially chilling! I found the tips on improving one's prayer life to be practical and inspiring.
Nora St Laurent
May 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this couple’s thought-provoking journey that had them searching the globe to learn about prayer. What is it? How is it done? This young couple had been passionate about prayer and their faith since middle school, but lately, their prayer life was stale. They were sensing a deep need to connect with God again, especially after becoming aware of some horrific realities in the world as they filmed a sex trafficking documentary. The author says, “These issues towered over us and exposed th ...more
Jan 17, 2015 rated it liked it
This book was hard for me to rate. It's not the first time that I've wished goodreads had half stars so I could rate something more accurately. For me this book is a solid 3.5, halfway between liked it and really liked it, which I think is actually a big accomplishment for Brock since (for reasons detailed below) I'm not the target audience even though, reading the fun goodreads blurb, I thought I was.

First, I want to talk about some of the things the book has going for it. Brock's writing style
Thomas Tijerina
Mar 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
In his book, A Year of Living Prayerfully, Jared Brock explores “man’s desire to know the mind of god.” He is humble in believing that his prayer life falls short and that there is much more knowledge to be acquired on this subject. As he embarks on a journey to far away places to learn from some of “the best” in the world, he finds that the more he learns, the more questions he has. Jared manages to keep an open mind in most situations by injecting a bit of his humor into every situation, which ...more
Charity Andrews
Mar 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
From the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, to the "Men's Only" Island in Greece, with a stop at the Westboro crazies, Jared went around the world. These are only a few of the destinations that he visited in his year of learning to pray. Oh yeah, lunch with the Pope? Wha???

His great wit, charismatic personality, VERY PATIENT wife, and desire to learn new things leads him on a once in a lifetime journey that will keep you turning the pages. Through it all, he is seeking the different ways that people pra
Oct 05, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015
This book is an interesting collection of prayer practices around the world. It is presented in a snarky conversational format. Everything was going fine until the last chapter, the wrap up. When the writer drives passed a strip club he prays that God would close the establishment down and in nearly the same breath he prays for the people of Westboro Baptist, not that it closes, mind you. It was clear throughout the book that author disagrees with WB but it is bothersome that he is willing the c ...more
Michelle Amy
Jan 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
For someone like me who has a hard time finishing books, A Year of Living Prayerfully was refreshing, hilarious, and had my attention to the very end. I was sad when it was over, and tried to stretch out the last couple chapters as long as I could! I also laughed out loud often, which is unusual for me. Jared has done an excellent job telling stories in an engaging way, and I would definitely recommend this book to those who want to learn about prayer or simply have a superbly enjoyable read!
Mar 31, 2015 rated it did not like it
Jared Brock is not a curious traveler, but a conservation Christian. Throughout the book, I shuddered-especially when a group of Conservative Jews welcome with open arms with a great deal of discussion about their faith with a great amount of trust. But Brock leaves, praying that their young daughter to become a Christian. Later on, Brock notes that he is praying for the entire community to become Christian.

This provides a very limited, Christian-centric view of the world's religions.

Mar 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Best book I've read this year! Honest, interesting, seriously thought-provoking -- Jay is a great writer and thinker. I was happy to tag along on the trip I wish I'd taken.
Jul 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Chapter 2: "Pray like work won't help and then work like prayer won't help."
On marriage: "Together, we're trying to approximate one human being."

Chapter 6: "In a crisis, be aware of the danger, but recognize the opportunity."

"Pray as if everything depended on God and work as if everything depended on you."

"Socrates said that the unexamined life is not worth living."

"Silence is an excellent room for prayer."

Chapter 7: "Converting our unceasing thinking into unceasing prayer moves us from a self-c
Susanna Bowers
Mar 16, 2019 rated it liked it
I liked this book. The chapters tended to be a little too long but I enjoyed the content and was interested in hearing all the different ways people practice prayer. Personally, I read it to learn more about prayer so I would have preferred a clearer explanation of the different practices of prayer for the reader, maybe with a section at the end of the chapter. Otherwise, the book is just your story, rather than a way to invite others to pray more, something I think the author was trying to do. ...more
This book took my imagination around the world. Jared Brock's description of his journey through living prayerfully was well written and entertaining to read. I was inspired through each religion and, simply, individual and group thoughts on prayer.
As thoughtful as one can be in a year of living prayerfully with multiple religions, I was pleasantly surprised at Mr. Brock's ability to string together some of the accessible essences of prayer.
I especially enjoyed reading about founding figures i
Aug 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Not for me. The premise is very interesting, and if I were a mainstream evangelical Protestant, it would be a good fit. As it is, I am a liberal of the Anglo-Catholic tradition, an Episcopalian with universalist perspectives, and I found it to be exclusivist and a bit disrespectful (but I do not believe that was intended) of other religions. I found Jared's voice to be lively and entertaining, and did laugh out loud a few times. Just not in sync with my theology, so your mileage may vary. I made ...more
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great read

A great read.

This is one of those books that inspires you without trying to.

Follow the author and his wife around the world to famous locations where great men and women changed the world by prayer and spiritual practice.

Not only do you learn about a variety of prayer traditions and how to practice them yourself, you learn about the history of the prayerful and you also get to enjoy the crazy tale of world travellers not always getting what they expected, but sometimes getting much,
Jul 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
4.5 stars

I'm a sucker for books about life experiments, but I didn't expect this book to be all that spiritually significant. I was wrong. Jared Brock explores a number of prayer traditions spanning the breadth of the church and Christian history, although by no means does he conduct an exhaustive survey. His honesty, thoughtful commentary, and storytelling more than compensated for the occasional snark. I really enjoyed this book and plan to delve deeper into some of the prayer traditions he de
Cynthia James
Sep 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Revisiting all I've learned about prayer

I've learned about Taize, Jesus Prayer, Ignatian meditation and contemplation when I was in my early 20's through my retreats at the Carmelite Sisters. I'm so glad to be able to revisit all these prayers through this book. This is a well-written book about one man's journey into understanding what prayer is, which offers a lot of valuable insights and information. It's spiritually uplifting and entertaining at the same time. It also raises some very import
Dec 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read this book to fulfil the goal read a book on prayer. i didn't really know what to expect, but he made some good points espiscally about taking time to listen when we pray, and how prayer should be more of a conversation than just a santa list of items. i'll confess i don't pray as much as i should. i'm much more comfortable with the scripture study side of christian living. this book makes me want to pray though. bonus: it also funny
Amanda Mouttaki
Apr 10, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gave-up
I really wanted to like this book because I liked the challenge behind what the author was doing. But while he spent time exploring the Jewish and Christian religious traditions, and given he was in Israel/Palestine and had the opportunity to learn a bit about Islamic traditions he chose not to. Instead this portion of the book was riddled with prejudices and judgments. I quit the book after slogging through that portion. There was a great opportunity there, what a shame.
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Part travelogue, part spiritual quest, this is a book I, at least, won't quickly forget. Jared "Jay" Brock travels (sometimes with his wife, Michelle) to such disparate places as Jerusalem; Mount Athos, Greece; Rome; Pyongyang, North Korea; Topeka, Kansas; and even the White Tail Chapel, a nudist church in Ivor, Virginia. This is the story of Jay's quest to discover a deeper, more meaningful significance of prayer in his daily life.
May 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a prayer-focused travelogue, written by a young guy with a really great sense of humor. I enjoyed his musings on the different compartments of Judeo-Christianity he intentionally sought out, and the different prayer techniques he discovered in each one. I had a hard time putting this one down due to Jared's hilarious and documentary style writing.
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Jared Brock is the author of Bearded Gospel Men, A Year of Living Prayerfully, and The Road to Dawn.

Jared is the director of three films including PBS's Redeeming Uncle Tom with Danny Glover, and he has written for Esquire, Huffington Post, Smithsonian, and TIME.

Follow Jared Brock on Facebook.

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