Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Talk-Show Host Listens to Why People Pray

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Talk-Show Host Listens to Why People Pray

Article excerpt

POWERFUL PRAYERS

By Larry King

Renaissance Books 256 pp., $22.95 Goldie Hawn prays regularly "to be an instrument of God's light," and Jeane Kirkpatrick for peace and an understanding of "God's purpose in the world." Willie Nelson is in prayer mode "most of the time." He says, "Practically every song I write is a prayer in one way or another." Quarterback Steve Young asks for "clarity of mind" and baseball's Tommy Lasorda, "for the strength to do the right thing." Jack Kevorkian doesn't pray at all. Margaret Thatcher does, but says it's too personal to discuss. Sen. Orrin Hatch credits prayer with his healing of deafness in one ear. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar says it humbles you and helps to "straighten our path." The intimate relationship that prominent people from all walks of life have with God is the subject of "Powerful Prayers," a new book by talk-show host Larry King. Mr. King brings his famous interview skills to bear on what he calls the "the big conversation." The result - a stirring, humorous, sometimes exhilarating exploration of why and how people pray and the impact prayer has on their lives - plumbs new depths for the celebrity interview. The book is a mosaic of conversations, none at great length. But most interviewees speak from the heart with such clarity, directness, and apparent eagerness that one is aware of sharing genuinely intimate moments and deeply held convictions. King, a self-described agnostic, was nudged into this book by his daughter, Chaia, who came up with the idea. He turned to a friend, Rabbi Irwin Katsof, executive vice president of the Jerusalem Fund, to be his spiritual guide through the process. It wasn't always an easy fit, and the interaction between the skeptic and the teacher - which threads among the interviews - adds humor and poignancy. It may also broaden the book's appeal to those who sit in King's camp. Rabbi Katsof supplies telling parables and insights, while King seems stuck at the point that until he has proof God exists, he doesn't see a reason to pray. The year and a half spent on this book didn't make him "a believer," King says in an interview, but it has affected him. "I've certainly seen the power of it for people. I appreciate that very intelligent people believe in it.... I haven't made that leap that says, 'Someone is watching over me,' but I am much more open to it than I was. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.