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(Guest commentary from Ms. Anne Thrope)

So we had a book discussion at the coffee club because George Donigian insisted we read his book. Good conversation from my perspective because people talked a lot and they bought lots of coffee.

What is the book about? The title is Three Prayers You’ll Want to Pray, so you would think that it’s all about prayer.

It isn’t.

Not in the way most people think about prayer.

It is about bringing everything in our personalities, our histories, and our experience into the prayer connection.

I’ve known Donigian a long time. Before he worked here, we were friends. I hope we’ll be friends after I get rid of him again. That happens from time to time.

I learned parts of his history that he hadn’t mentioned. And the thing is that his experience seemed to help people talk about their experience and relate it to the whole prayer idea. Fred Foulzone and Ashlyn Cacciatore ended up talking about experiences they thought they buried. Neither one had anything really bad to say about themselves. One of them talked about an embarrassing experience that happened with a bad Sunday school teacher that made them dislike God.

But it is about three prayers. The first one doesn’t seem like much of a prayer–only twelve words–until Donigian unpacks it. Then it is a beautiful prayer, a thing of wonder, and I want to pray it each day.

The second prayer is longer than the first. The Serenity Prayer seems a little more traditional, but Donigian helped me understand that the prayer had very fresh connectivity.

The third prayer he calls “the Rabbi’s prayer,” and he shows some things about the “Our Father” that I hadn’t thought about before. He writes about God’s sense of justice for the world. That produced a healthy discussion about how we understand justice.

I liked the discussion, and the book was good to read. To rephrase Miss Congeniality’s Miss Rhode Island, “It’s not too long and it’s not too hard and it sticks with you a long time.”

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