disclaimer: I rec’d a copy of PrayerWalk thru the publisher’s Blogging for Books program. I rec’d no other compensation and the following review is my honest opinion of this work of non-fiction.

PrayerWalk: Becoming a Woman of Prayer, Strength & Discipline

Janet McHenry’s latest book, PrayerWalk, is an interesting “take” on faith and fitness: the importance and benefits of combining a daily prayer journey with a daily fitness journey sums up the gist of this book. McHenry leads the reader through the rationale of daily talks with God AND the need for daily exercise. Her book includes how to get started in both forms of exercise: physically by stretching, warming up and what to wear; spiritually by defining the different forms of prayer and why we need to talk (and listen!) to God on a daily basis.

This is a good read that reminds me of how important these things are: how I need to make time in my day, every day, for praying and walking. That said, I think McHenry is a bit too didactic in her demands that you walk one hour every day — she lives in a small town with a family for which this works, but I’d have to carve 15-30 mins at a time two or three times in a day rather than try and do it all at once. I understand and buy-in to her idea that I need to spend at least an hour with God daily, but I don’t think it has to be all at once or all while walking. The way she expresses it, it’s as if you’ve somehow failed God if you don’t spend an hour every day ….

In the section about how to walk — she mentions the safety issue of walking with someone else, but then says how she spent the first few years, going solo. I personally believe that I first need to get my own prayer life in order and learn to talk, and more importantly, listen to God before I allow a prayer partner to join me in vocal prayer. That would be too weird to me. I’m also not into vocal prayer … preferring, as the Blessed Mother did, to ponder it and keep it in the silence of my heart.

I know I need to pray and talk and listen to God more … and a morning walk (where I can do a 30 min or so fast-paced walk) sounds like an ideal time. Throughout the day, I’m turning to God with prayer requests about friends, relatives, even perfect strangers who are in need; I’m praying for our home-educating adventure; I’m praying in thanksgiving for the many blessings I receive daily; I’m praying for my loved ones and even for those who I don’t like (or who don’t like me) that I may grow in the good advice they give and ignore the bad thoughts. In the evening, I walk at least 30 min with my dh … a chance to talk about our days, our dreams and our goals … this is such a quality time for us.

Overall, this is a good book to get the reader thinking about a daily regimen of praying and walking. Her view of prayer is a little different than mine as is her situation in life so I give it only 4 stars as I think she gets a little too “have to do” and not enough “might want to try to do”.

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