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Prone to Wander: Prayers of Confession and Celebration

Barbara R. Duguid & Wayne Duguid Houk

Reviewed by: Margaret R. Shishko

Date posted: 12/06/2015

Prone to Wander: Prayers of Confession and Celebration, by Barbara R. Duguid and Wayne Duguid Houk. Edited by Iain M. Duguid. P&R Publishing, 2014. Paperback, 238 pages, list price $14.99. Reviewed by Margaret R. Shishko, a member of OPC, Franklin Square, NY.

One of the finest contributions made by the Banner of Truth Trust has been its publication of Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions. For years we have given out copies of this precious volume to those who come into church membership in the OPC, Franklin Square. And for some years my husband has adapted many of these prayers for congregational responsive prayers of confession.

With the volume Prone to Wander, we have virtually a companion volume to Valley of Vision. This collection of over ninety prayers of confession (preceded by a scriptural call to confession and followed by a scriptural assurance of pardon and an appropriate hymn) grew out of the development of corporate worship at Christ Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Grove City, Pennsylvania. These were developed by the wife of that church's pastor, Rev. Iain Duguid, and by the music director for that congregation. Pastor Duguid, who is currently a professor at Westminster Theological Seminary, edited them for publication.

The topics of this devotional book reflect our concerns. We need to confess that we are "captivated by sin." As a mother of six and a grandmother of four, I so appreciate the pages devoted to "parents and children" and "building our houses." I need to be reminded to "be still," and to ponder, in prayer, what that means. As a pastor's wife, the material on "servanthood" is a reality check for me. And we are always in need of meditations on themes like "delight in the Lord," "troubled hearts," "love," "forgetting the gospel," and "running the race." Knowing that these meditations were written and edited for use by a Reformed congregation only makes them more meaningful and useful.

Even though the prayers are only about a page long, I found that the richness of the material lent itself more to meditation than to prayers of confession. Likewise, I found that the language (as down to earth and honest as it is) stirred me more, at first, to just think about the material rather than to use the words as a prayer to the Lord. Valley of Vision I can use to pray. Prone to Wander makes me think, encourages me to know that I experience these things in the communion of the saints, and then enables me to pray about these things in my own way.

I encourage pastors to get this book and make use of it in preparing their corporate prayers of confession for worship services. I also encourage its use for personal and family worship. This thoughtful and heartfelt material will minister to you, and it will help you to get out of the prayer and praise ruts into which we can and do so easily fall.

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