Title: Praying in Thoughts
Author: J. T Marshall
Number of Pages: 84
Publishers: Words Rhymes & Rhythm
Year of Publication: 2017
Reviewer: EUGENE YAKUBU
What sin was mine, sweet, silent boy- god Sleep
Or what, poor sufferer, have I left undone,That I should lack thy guerdon, I alone?
Hushed are the brawling streams: the shuddering deep
Sinks, and the rounded hills feign weary sleep
The high seas slumber pillowed on Earth’s breast;
All flocks and birds and beasts are stilled in rest,But my sad eyes their nightly vigil keep.
O! If beneath the night some luckier swain,Entwined in loving arms, refuse thy boon
In wanton happiness, — come hither soon,Come hither, Sleep. Let others ask to gain
The full embrace of thy soft angel wing:But touch me with thy wand, or hovering
Above my eyelids sweep them with thy train.
— Sir William Hamilton Fyfe
Sleep is a matter many will consider too trivial to talk on forgetting its necessity to a normal and stress- free life. Sleep does more that we can ever imagine to our everyday life and contributes immeasurably to the development of a normal and complete personality formation. The author acknowledges that “sleep is essential for healthy living, growth and development, especially for people at tender age” (9).
Hence the author of this timely and worthwhile piece made a conscious effort to uncover issues many are battling with on a daily basis— insomnia and mental restlessness.
The enduring trauma and apprehension that insomniacs are helplessly living with is what precipitated this text ‘Praying in Thoughts’ by J. T Marshall. This is a needful effort that has diverted from the traditional psychological discourses on sleep and dream by notable psychologists like Sigmund Freud, Alfred Adler and Carl Jung. As such, this is a totally debut effort by Marshall to tally and align sleeping habits on a Judeo- Christian backdrop.
Worthy of mention, Sigmund Freud in his ‘A Metapsychological Supplement to the Theory of Dreams’ (1917) defines sleep as
“a reactivation of intrauterine existence, fulfilling as it does the conditions of repose, warmth and exclusion of stimulus; indeed, in sleep many people resume the foetal posture. The psychical state of a sleeping is characterized by an almost complete withdrawal from the surrounding world and a cessation of all interest in it”.
In the same vein, it is apparent that J. T Marshall’s theory of sleep and sleeplessness is not totally at odd with Freud’s. For instance, the author’s personal study of sleeping habit as he experienced it inspired his assertion that:
“[w]ithout any fear of contradiction, I was able to figure out that my experience of sleeplessness was caused by a gamut of confused mental and psychological state of mind and as a matter of fact, a self-inflicted phenomenon that was increasingly tough to contest” (26).
But even so, J. T Marshall in his moralistic account consider sleep to be a habit that can be developed and learned— not necessarily intuitive; and he nonetheless offered astounding techniques and ideas in which insomnia and sleeplessness can be overcome. As such, ‘Praying in Thoughts’ is sure to contribute positively to readers’ moral, social and spiritual life.
Obviously, the author has done a notable research in the area of sleep and insomnia as evident in his assertive arguments and revelatory remarks. This of course is sure to grasp the reader’s attention throughout the text despite its prosaic manner and somber mood. It is compelling for perfectly using events from the author’s life and experiences and making them familiar to readers.
Worthy of applaud is the author’s mastery of language and his handiness with words. He is undeniably a good writer and backs his argument firmly with assertive words and affective language.
This, the reader finds interesting and captivating and effortlessly succeed in transporting the reader right to the end of the book. The author doesn’t just write for readers to read but he also motivates them morally to take charge of their lives and live positively. These motivations are directly uprooted from Bible passages which offer insightful thoughts to the reader on living his best.
Finally, the author proposes that for a total victory over the scourge of sleeplessness and insomnia, the reader has to learn the divine art of meditations and calm recollection of sublime and heavenly thoughts which ordinarily will transpose people into deep sleep and total estrangement from the stigma of insomnia.
This daring text is not totally about sleeping habits, but also about the art of prayer and meditation, developing good conscience and avoiding sin.
In this case, the author call on all readers to give their life to Christ and “meet with this Great God whom there is none like unto. He is the very source of victory over sleeplessness, a fulfilled life here on earth and a glorious one in the world to come” (82)
This book is considered necessary for Christians wanting to develop their spiritual life, and all individuals in need of a fulfilled and happy life on earth. Notably, ‘Praying in Thoughts’ by J. T Marshall is sure to cure your insomnia and sleeplessness no matter how chronic and helpless it might be with spontaneous and alluring techniques that are all waiting to be read in the pages of this text.