(A Review of Richard M. Barry’s “The Shepherds’ Prayer”)
by Dan Blankenship
© 2007 Dan Blankenship
Inspirational Christian fiction can cause the human mind to be reenergized and refocused on the spiritual realm beyond one’s earthly eyesight.
Such is indeed the case with “The Shepherds’ Prayer” by Richard M. Barry. This book, dealing with the birth of Christ and King Herod’s attempt at murdering the Savior as an infant, is an easy read for all ages. It is a story that reinforces the tenets of the Christian faith, while at the same time provides the reader with some interesting plot twist and emotional struggle.
One of my favorite Ernest Hemingway books is “The Old Man and the Sea.” The classic novel keeps the story simple but interesting and flowing. “The Shepherd’s Prayer” does the same. The dialogue is simple, but it makes the story more solid.
As the main character, Anam, searches for clues to his past and its relation to the virgin birth of the Messiah, I found myself rooting for him to succeed. At the same time, I was full of intrigue as to what each new piece of information would lead Anam to do. Would he stop digging up clues? Would he ever feel like he had reached the conclusion of his investigation? It was hard to stop reading this well-penned novel (or novella, possibly).
This work reminds us that it is not always easy to follow the will of God – to believe the prophecies and the guidance God’s holy word provides. Many characters in this narrative have their faith tested by amazing sacrifices. Their steadfast service to the Lord is a stirring dose of medicine to the complacent Christian or nonbeliever who happens across Barry’s fictional anecdote.
I have read some reviews that have shown disfavor on this story for being only 123 pages in length. I think it is a blessing that so much wise and spiritual guidance is placed in such a short manuscript. In today’s busy world, a book such as “The Shepherds’ Prayer” will be read by more individuals, maybe even many who have never read such material.
Christian fiction has been on the rise for quite some time now; “The Shepherds’ Prayer” is a great addition to this up and coming literary revolution. It is also the type of book that people will definitely buy in bulk to give to friends and relatives.
Anam believes angels, at times, are watching over him, keeping him safe from pitfalls and destruction. In many ways, this book, “The Shepherds’ Prayer”, makes me wonder if Barry should include “Heaven’s Holy Angels” as the coauthor of his fine piece of literary work…
See ya next review.
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I will be keeping my eyes open for the book. Sounds like something we could all relate to and would all do well to read.