The main character is an overweight, diabetic, sixty-year-old bachelor who is an Episcopalian priest. Now if that doesn’t make you want to dive into the book, I don’t know what will. HOWEVER, Father Tim is us. In every sense. He has fears he knows he shouldn’t have. He fights depression. He bemoans his own “stuck-in-the-mud” aka “ love of routine” life, but then doesn’t know what to do when his world gets rocked when a beautiful woman moves in next door.
One of the most beautiful parts of Karon’s books are Father Tim’s prayers, and Karon writes “he drove me to prayer of my own … when he needed to pray in a critical situation and I had to configure that prayer. I never took his job lightly, nor did he” (8).
I have always enjoyed those prayers, but in the context of the novel as a whole, I hadn’t remembered many of them. It wasn’t until I bought her newest book Bathed in Prayer that I was able to appreciate them. This book takes all the prayers from the series, and then reprints them within the context of the situation. So you have small snippets of the novels and the prayers from all her books with a bit of introductory explanatory material if needed.
It was here that I saw, again and again, Father Tim mentioning the “prayer that never fails” and the more I read it, the more I had to agree. These four words are indeed the prayer that is always answered. And if this is truly the prayer of our heart, and we have a willingness to submit to His answer, then it is also the most freeing of all prayers as it lays everything at His feet and leaves nothing to worry.
The Prayer that Never Fails: “Thy Will Be Done.”
Karon, Jan. Bathed in Prayer. G.P. Putnam's Sons: New York. 2018.