On the Journey
By Rick Hamlin

Good Advice from a Praying Friend

Anthony DeStefano loves God. He also really loves people. That’s always clear after one of our lunches.

I guess it’s because we’ve both written books about prayer and both live in the New York area and both love Italian food that he asks me out to a big Italian lunch every once in a while.

OK, he usually has some book he’s published and wants to talk about that, too. So at some fine restaurant, as he puts a plate of prosciutto and Parmesan in front of me, we talk about God. What could be better?

Not long ago he gave me a copy of his newest book, A Travel Guide to Life, and sent me a wonderful photo of him giving it to another friend of his too.

Here’s the kind of good advice Anthony gives:

“When you get up in the morning, do you know the first thing you should do? You need to say a short prayer. Because the first really conscious moment of your day should be given to God.”

“Gratitude should not only help you to feel good, but also inspire you to do good. If you really appreciate the blessings you’ve been given by God then you should show it by trying to imitate him more. That means being kinder, more patient, more forgiving, more loving, more sacrificial. It means acting more like a true Christian is supposed to act.”

“Never forget that you have an immortal soul and are made in the image and likeness of God. You have more value than all the stars and planets in the universe put together. You should never be a doormat for anyone.”

“Anthony,” I told him. “I loved the book. It’s practical, short, sweet, clear and to the point. It’s the kind of helpful book all of us can use.”

“Can I quote you?” he asked.

“Please do.”

He’s awfully busy now on a book tour so it’ll be a while before we get to have lunch again. But I look forward to it. To hear him say things like this:

 “You need to regularly take the time to find a quiet place and focus just on God. When you start focusing more on God, he’ll start focusing more on you and your problems…The best way to get close to God is to talk to him as much as possible.”

“Money can give us a feeling of false invincibility. It can make us think we have everything we need to be happy and that we don’t have to rely on anyone or anything–including God.”

Can’t wait for our next lunch, pal. Good luck with the book.

Rick Hamlin is the executive editor of Guideposts magazine and the author of 10 Prayers You Can't Live Without. To learn more about the book and explore your own prayer journey, watch this video.

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