When I saw the initial response James Twyman’s “Best Spiritual Author Competition” I was not impressed. It seems author after author came out of the woodwork on the web with promos saying “vote for me! pick my book!”. I was in a class at my church where one aspiring writer was upset with the minister teaching the course. The instructor would not allow the author to solicit for votes for his book during class time. “Is this competition just a popularity contest?” I wondered. Will the winner be the more skilled in campaigning rather than spiritual insights?
Much to my surprise a true gem of a book came out the winner of the “spiritual author” competition – “How to Pray Without Talking to God: moment by moment, choice by choice” by Linda Martella-Whitsett.
“Perhaps you, like countless others, are leaving your church, temple, synagogue, or mosque in disillusionment,” Martella-Whitsett writes early in her book. “Maybe you are filled with knowledge based upon your religion’s teachings about god, all the while longing to experience god. Maybe you are ready for a concept of god that is unconfined by dogma and an experience of god that is intimate as well as expansive.” These words spoke to me, having been raised with traditional Christian doctrine where my actual experiences of God were rare. It was not until I looked beyond doctrine where I connected to the unconditional love of Spirit.
How to Pray Without Talking to God emphasizes affirmative prayer to get in touch with the Spirit within – what Martella-Whitsett calls our “Divine Identity”. Instead of pleading to a God “out there”, true prayer is “to claim and assert our Divine Identity so that we can live more fully from it,” she writes. This is different than expecting God to change other people or circumstances to our liking.
The type of prayer promoted in Martella-Whitsett’s book will give you peace in any circumstance. Some realizations I have come to independently were confirmed in reading the book. Martella-Whitsett has the gift of explaining sometimes difficult to grasp spiritual truths in understandable language.
And for all those disappointed writers who failed to win the “Best Spiritual Author” competition – read this book to be reminded again of who you really are. As an aspiring writer myself I need to remember, also, that whether my words resonate with people in the end really doesn’t matter. I don’t need to be a successful author to be somebody in the World. I already am somebody! “Realization occurs when truth becomes real to you, no longer theoretical. You get it!” Martella-Whitsett writes. “Whereas before you believed it, now you know it. It doesn’t matter whether anyone else knows it or whether you have seen its manifestation. You now live into this truth.”