May It Be So: Forty Days with the Lord’s Prayer
By Justin McRoberts & Scott Erickson (WaterBrook)
Star Wars: A New Hope is only one of the best movies of all time because The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi are even better.
I thought Justin McRoberts’ and Scott Erickson’s previous book, Prayer: Forty Days of Practice, was an excellent book on prayer, but that’s only because May It Be So wasn’t published yet.
Like their previous book, McRoberts and Erickson distill prayer into something as easy as breathing. McRoberts’ breath prayers—prayers that can be said in one breath—are accompanied by Erickson’s evocative artwork. Their brevity and simplicity does not diminish their profundity. Several times, I had to read a prayer over again to fathom its depth.
Another similarity between the two books is the intervening meditations. In May It Be So, McRoberts’ brief meditations step through the Lord’s Prayer one phrase at a time. In his meditations, McRoberts dissembles the programmatic interpretation of the Lord’s Prayer, infusing it with life the way dialogue breathes life into a narrative.
A theme appears in Erickson’s artwork in the recurring use of the heart and hands. The human heart appears in various ways, subtly drawing the reader to inward contemplation. By contrast, hands draw the reader outward in gratitude for God’s gifts.
McRoberts and Erickson make prayer a joy, removing from it a sense of obligation and restoring to it a desire for communion with God. On the first page, McRoberts states: “This book is a resource. … This book is not ‘content.’ The ongoing conversation between you and God is content.”
May It Be So is about more than prayer, though. It is about parenting and family, failure and disappointment, forgiveness and more. Through rich personal stories—none of which end on a sour note, McRoberts relates prayer to the stuff of life. If you buy the book for these personal stories alone, you will have paid too little for it.
Eric Black, executive director/editor/publisher