Smell the Baguettes Baking…
In his book, Pray like a Gourmet: Creative Ways to Feed Your Soul, David Brazzeal combines his love of French cuisine and his creative prayer practices into a banquet worthy of participating. David invites the reader to journey with him sometimes to France and sometimes into one’s soul to taste and to see what God might be up to. The results are fun and flavorful! You can almost smell the baguettes baking and you can surely sense your own soul being nourished!
Part One of the book introduces the reader to the opportunities for a “soul feast.” He whets the appetite of the reader and then spreads a table of delightful tidbits of all things French and all things Spiritual. Using Biblical insights and food metaphors, David entices the reader to come and see and to come and taste. Your mouth waters as you think of the rich flavors of the food and your soul yearns as you ponder the rich practices of prayer. He ends Part One with a mental grid of sorts to keep prayers from being boring. His prayer outlines comes across as fresh and varied as the vegetables delivered from farm to market for a gourmet meal. The metaphors are fun and the soul work is energizing.
Part Two of Pray Like a Gourmet defines the “menu” of prayers. He outlines and gives practical examples of eleven prayer practices. He takes the reader on journey of sorts on possible prayer courses that can delight one’s spiritual appetite. From his personal experiences and his creative approach, he shares not only the “meal” but also the recipes that can be put to use almost immediately. These are mostly the practices that you would expect from any book on prayer. And, with David’s creativity, you begin to touch, see, taste, smell, engage these in ways that you may never have thought about. “Prayer should never be boring,” he says, and he goes out of his way to be true to his thought.
Part Three of the book is the much anticipated “dessert” section. Here, David seeks to unpack ways to put these prayer practices into work, whether “dining” alone, with a small group of intimate friends, or in the midst of a grand Banquet Hall. The book concludes with a Quaker Prayer that is metaphorically an invitation from God to “come and eat!” Only as we pray, as we “taste” the practices, and as we take the time to savor the “flavors” will we truly know the joy of a “gourmet” meal or a satisfying prayer life.
The playful spirit of the book, the art work and the words, and the practical aspects of this book, make this a very fine “gourmet” experience. You may not be tempted to visit Paris after reading this, but you will be hungry. You will be hungry to taste of the Bread of Life, to drink the cup of Living Water, and to linger at Table with the Living God!
Coordinator of Organizational Relationships
Cooperative Baptist Fellowship