There are a lot of daily devotional books on the market but nothing quite like Mark Lanier’s “Torah for Living.” When I heard Mark was coming out with a book on Torah I nerded out a bit and figured it would be something that would challenge my brain. What I got instead was a book that engaged my brain while challenging my heart and helping my prayer life.
If you aren’t familiar with Mark Lanier, he is a trial lawyer who lives near Houston. A few years ago he started the Lanier Theological Library in Houston where he houses a great collection of theological resources and hosts lectures by leading biblical scholars. You can learn more about that here – Lanier Theological Library. Mark isn’t an armchair theologian. He knows what he is talking about. I feel even more confident saying that after diving into this book.
The book has a reading for every day of the year including Feb 29 (he thought of everything) with one page of commentary and reflection each day. Every day ends with some application thoughts and a written prayer that reflects the content of the day’s reading.
I haven’t completed the book yet but I am up to date on 2019 and will finish the book out this year.
Although the readings are sequential through the Torah (Genesis – Deuteronomy), this book is not a commentary. It has the feel of a devotional book that dives deeper into the text than your run of the mill devotional book. Mark pays attention to historical and cultural backgrounds in various places as they fit with his reflections and musings.
“Torah for Living” is also deeply personal. Mark offers a level of transparency and authenticity that is refreshing. I appreciate his willingness to let us listen in on these reflections. I also appreciate the prayers he has written at the end of each day’s reading. They are short and to the point. They are bold and flow out of the intersection of the text and Mark’s life.
If you are looking for a book to keep you in the Bible every single day, I hope you will consider this book. It has blessed me reading it and I am sure it will bless you as well.
Last, Mark has also written “Psalms for Living: Daily Prayers, Wisdom and Guidance.” I hope he will continue this work to cover more of the Bible in the coming years.