Time for God by Jacques Philippe
Time for God by Jacques Philippe is published by Scepter Publishers and has been translated from French by Helena Scott.
This book focuses on “prayer that consists of facing God in solitude and silence for a time in order to enter into intimate, loving communion with him.” He states that this kind of prayer is considered by all spiritual masters “to be a privileged, indispensable path that gives access to genuine Christian life – a path to knowing and loving God that empowers us to respond to his call to holiness addressed to each individual.”
This is a small book of about 100 pages with several appendices in the back, one that covers a method of meditation proposed by Father Liebermann (1802-1852) who founded a missionary order, and one from the book “The Practice of the Presence of God” by Brother Lawrence (1614-1691)
The book is broken down into these sections:
“Mental prayer is not a technique but a grace”
“How to use the time of mental prayer”
The development of the life of prayer.”
“Material conditions for mental prayer” (time, place, physical attitudes)
“Some methods of mental prayer”
| I recently heard Jacques Philippe speak on his very first trip to the United States and purchased his book at the event. He exudes peace and love and gently shows the way for us to spend time in prayerfully loving God as a vital way of life.
As I read the book through the first time, I felt the warmth and joy of the Holy Spirit. Then I went through and read the book again slowly, underlining the parts I wanted to meditate upon more deeply.
The main idea is about praying with our hearts, not with our minds. This is very different from praying with our emotions and feelings because these are so changeable. Instead it is deliberately making a type of prayer best described as contemplation where we sit with God in a loving attitude allowing Him to love us as we love Him.
According to Rev. Jacques, this sort of prayer requires “attitudes” instead of a certain method. These attitudes are: perseverance, humility, holiness, docility, trust and love. He insists on “the primacy of love over everything else.” He describes this kind of prayer as: “putting oneself in God’s presence and staying there” “Living under God’s gaze” “Not doing something but delivering ourselves up to God’s action” “remaining in God’s presence and letting him love us.”
He tells us that he believes our souls are more distinctive and different than our faces and that each person has their own way of prayer with God that is unique to that person. Therefore he doesn’t tell us a single, sure fire method of practicing this type of prayer. Instead he encourages us to let the Holy Spirit guide us. He tells us to “do whatever favors and strengthens love.”
Some of the ways he suggests are:
After reading this book I purchased 5 more copies to give to people I know. I feel very strongly that this is a type of prayer that few of us practice and one that will revolutionize our spiritual lives if we do.
Because this book was translated from French and also because of the historical theological roots of his thoughts, some of the terminology may be new to readers who are in non liturgical denominations. However these words, such as docility, are easy to relate to and Rev. Jacques speaks with simplicity so that the concepts are easily understood.
Added by Karen Barber on June 5, 2012