A believing Christian, Hough compiled this book as an aid to prayer in a busy, modern life. It returns to the source (3rd century) of what later became known as 'Lectio Divina' in the West and the 'Jesus Prayer' in the East - ways to take small extracts from the Bible and pray with them in a simple, contemplative way. It is the opposite, in a way, from the '100-minute Bible' or 'Testament' which are abridged texts to give a quick over-view of the whole; 'The Bible as Prayer' is meant to be read slowly, one segment a day, and is solely intended to lead the reader into prayer, not for Bible study: a book to use, not read or study. Its appeal could be extremely wide-ranging, from prayer-groups and retreats to the bedsides of hospitals or prisons; and its gathering together of the most inspiring verses of the Scriptures from beginning to end, combined with an utterly simple method of use, make it the perfect book to dip into for beginners as well as the more experienced. This is a book to encourage people to pray.
Even if they have only five minutes to spare, or feel totally uninspired, there should be something on every page which can kindle the flame and, over time, change the heart.
Stephen Hough is an internationally acclaimed concert pianist. He is also a devout Roman Catholic. He contributed an essay to The Way We Are Now edited by Ben Summerskill