The 15-Minute Prayer Solution
Author: Gary Jansen
Publisher: Loyola Press
Published by Loyola Press, The 15-Minute Prayer Solution is a little book by bestselling author Gary Jansen. Inspired by Ignatian Spirituality, Gary shows how spending just one percent of your day in prayer can transform your life. He looked to Saint Ignatius for “finding God in all things”, and says, “All this is why some years ago I made a commitment to dedicate at least fifteen minutes, one percent of my day, to daily prayer and meditation, two things that can be mind-blowingly exciting or downright, drudgingly boring!”
Gary introduces us to some elementary concepts for getting closer to God such as an explanation of a Spiritual Exercise. He also looks to a pivotal moment in his faith through a childhood experience about a strict teacher at school who said to him, “If you only gave a mustard seed’s amount of effort toward washing your hands, you’d have the cleanest hands in the world. If you have the faith of a mustard seed, you can move mountains”.
In the Prayer Exercises, he guides us through Centering Prayer – a longing to experience the eternal and to get in touch with what is. Other prayer exercises include Learning to Listen, Breath Prayer, and Lectio Divina (sacred reading). Traces of Ignatian contemplation can be seen in Gary’s Encountering God Exercises as he teaches the reader to “Feel it, see it, taste it, touch it, and smell it”. In his version of the Examen – a core component of St. Ignatius’s teaching – he guides us through 6 steps to reflect on the activities and thoughts of the day, leaving the reader to feel consolation and renewal.
The Dying to God exercise is particularly imaginative and powerful which entails a recitation of the Jesus Prayer, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner”. The final part leads us into a full week of Exercising with the Parables including the Parables of the Lost Sheep, the Good Samaritan, and the Lost Son.