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"Imagine that prayer could be like savoring a fine French meal—a flow of engaging courses featuring creative recipes, infusing all your senses, and enticing a return for more. Is it possible? Yes!
David Brazzeal stirs together a love of French dining and his innovative prayer practices with a dash of international adventure to concoct an inspiring, reinvigorating prayer experience. Fun, yet profound, from confession to meditation, from observing to lamenting to praising, this book is full of practical ideas. Some can be used immediately; others take a lifetime to master. Some can be used with groups, while others work well throughout the day.
Brazzeal (Now Paul, He was a Servant) has written a cookbook for prayer—literally. After a first section that likens learning to pray to learning to cook and also notes the importance of food in the Bible, the author, who lives in Paris, divides the book into sections. Instead of soups, salads, sides, main courses, and desserts, these sections cover different types of prayer, such as thanksgiving, confessing, and asking, complete with "recipes." Thus "praising" prayers, which are likened to hors d'oeuvre, contain "recipes" that call for praying by writing down all the verbs in Psalm 147 or by creating a physical movement that opens you to God. Likewise, recipes for "blessing" prayers include visualizing a friend in a setting that represents well-being and joy.
The book's voice is exuberant and the cookbook idea clever and appealing. Rather than a tome to be read and forgotten, the volume is formatted as a resource to keep handy, maybe even among cookbooks. The book might benefit from less autobiography and even more recipes, but it's still a delectable read, supplemented by tasty quotes from Christian sages. —Publishers Weekly
"Pray like a gourmet—I love the metaphor. I know what it means to have been preoccupied by excellent food and wine. I have also learned to apply that strong desire to my personal relationship with Jesus Christ and to be nourished and sustained, even to the point of resilience. I shall keep this series of "tasteful disciplines" close at hand and consume them daily as I hunger and thirst after his righteousness." —Graham Kerr, The Galloping Gourmet
"Pray Like a Gourmet is the gentlest, most readable, kindest guide to prayer one could ever hope to explore. Reading through its storied pages, one goes from 'I never thought of that before' to 'I could do that' to 'I want to do that' and back again. This one is an adventure for the believing heart." —Phyllis Tickle, compiler, The Divine Hours
"If I were a beginning cook, I would want a guide who was experienced, flexible, enthusiastic, and sensitive to the questions and insecurities of an absolute beginner. And if I were a beginner in prayer, I would want David Brazzeal to be my teacher. Even as someone who has prayed for most of my life, I found Pray Like a Gourmet to be nourishing, delicious, and delightful." —Brian D. McLaren, author and speaker (brianmclaren.net)
"From the moment you read the Menu, - oops, my error! Let's start again. From the moment you read the Table of Contents, Pray Like A Gourmet becomes a banquet for the soul and for the spirit. Since when has prayer been such a mouth-watering, taste-bud awakening experience? Like food and wine, artisan bread and spring-fed water, prayer in its' multiple forms is to be savored as it feeds our inner beings. Prayer is the place of communion and of life-giving union with God. No room for deprivation here. Come and most heartily feast!" —Pierre LeBel, author and teacher, Member of the Canadian Leadership Team and the NA Cities Leadership Team for YWAM.