Sunday, September 22, 2013

Book Review: The Mercy Prayer by Robert Gelinas

I've been in a period of my personal study where I've been taking ubiquitous Christian concepts, such as glory, grace, worship, etc. and really trying to get a clear, concise idea of what exactly these things are, especially in the eyes of God.  Because of this, I was eager to read The Mercy Prayer:  the One Prayer Jesus Always Answers by Robert Gelinas.  I was hoping to get a better understanding of what mercy is and what God does when we ask for or give one another mercy.



This book served that purpose and is quite honestly what this book did best.  In the first chapter or two where the author is laying out what mercy is and what it looks like, his prose is clear and insightful.  There was much I learned in those first twenty-five pages or so.  Unfortunately, the rest of the book grew increasingly disjointed for me and began to lose focus.  I almost felt like the author was trying to stretch out his material so that his book was an adequate length and as it went on, I felt like we strayed farther and farther from the core of how God answers prayers of mercy.

This also bothered me:  all of our prayers get answered, not just ones asking for mercy.  They may not get answered in ways that we want, but they all get answered.  I realize the author was making a case that when people said to Jesus, "Have mercy on me", it caught His attention and He acted on that.  But I felt possibly the reason the book lost focus is because once the author defined mercy, the premise for the rest of the book was slightly flawed.  There were moments of great insight and information, but instead of being a constant bounty, it was more like panning for gold.

Overall, I only recommend this book if you are looking for a good definition of mercy.  If it is part of a broader study of the subject, this book is certainly useful.  But alone, it doesn't deliver on what the title promises.

I was provided a copy of this book by booksneeze.com in return for my honest review.

1 comment:

jazztheologian said...

Jenny,
Thank you for reading and reviewing The Mercy Prayer. May God continue to bless you and all that you love!

robert gelinas