In his latest book, Walking with God (2 stars), John Eldredge invites readers into a fresh intimacy with God marked by interactive prayer. By constantly surrendering ourselves to the will of God and inviting his guidance, we can "talk to him. Hear from him. Really."

In the form of a yearlong journal, readers accompany Eldredge through four seasons of praying for, seeking, and finding God's guidance. We hear his self-doubts, his surrender of pride, his joy riding horseback through mountains in autumn's glow, his battle with alcohol and sleeplessness, and his cycles of prayer and God's response. It is winsome reading: terse, likeable, and with enough vulnerability for us to see ourselves in this everyday Christian, but without the garish revelations likely to trigger supermarket sales.

Eldredge's core spiritual values mirror many others' in the charismatic/Pietist/ Pentecostal family of Christians: "that the heart is central to the Christian life, that we are invited into a conversational intimacy with God, and that spiritual warfare is real." So for those of us who live in another branch of the Christian family, he brings balance and sometimes provokes a bit of envy.

Eldredge alerts us to a constant awareness of God's presence and his unrelenting participation in our lives. "Life will present us with hundreds of opportunities in a single week to take a look at our internal world, to walk with God there, to become more fully his. Don't let your internal life go unshepherded." Throughout Walking with God, Eldredge offers guidance on praying and sample prayers—all of them emphasizing the constancy of asking God's guidance, hearing God's voice, and surrendering to God. Did his failure to ask God which direction to take on ...

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