Monday, February 23, 2015

Evening Prayers by Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt

Evening Prayers:  For Every Day of the Year is the English translation of prayers written by German pastor Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt that were gathered together in book form after his death in 1919.  It has been put together in devotion form with each day of the year having a few verses of scripture and a prayer for that day.

Before I go to far into my review, I think it is only fair to state a few of my biases going in.  First, I'm not a huge fan of devotion books.  Second, I find most pre-written prayers to be of little use and most of the time I find them cloying at best.  Third, I get really frustrated by translated works, especially when they are translated from a language I'm familiar with, as this one is having been translated from German.  With that all said, this isn't a bad little book.  It is meant as a simple book, perhaps to keep by your chair or night stand, that is supposed to be a quick scripture and prayer for each evening.  The scriptures and prayers are very short for each day, so it will serve as a quick thought to ponder.

I do have one problem with it and I don't know if this is a matter of Blumhardt's original writing or a translation issue.  There are several places in the book where the prayers don't make a whole lot of sense.  For instance, in one place it says, "may again and again experience a day of salvation."  I think I know what is trying to be said here, but theologically it doesn't make sense the way it's written.  My curiosity and love of the German language makes we want to go to the original German and see how it was phrased, but I'm guessing the average reader isn't going to geek out on this as much as I would.

Overall, this is a nice little book for someone wanting a quick "God thought" in their day, whether it is in the evening as the book was intended, or during lunch at work or wherever.  It would not be sufficient for most people's "devotion time", but could easily be incorporated as part of one.

This book was given to me free of charge by Plough Publishing in return for my honest review.

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