If you've ever heard Gary Zimak speak or listened to his radio program, you're familiar with his down-to-earth, honest approach to faith. Last year, Gary gave a presentation at a local parish, which felt more like a conversation with a good friend than a speech. He has the ability to make a large church with a hundred or more people in it feel like a small room filled with friends.

Book Notes: Find a Real Friend in Jesus

When you read Gary's latest book, Find a Real Friend in Jesus, you'll get that same feeling: that you're sitting with Gary, getting friendly, personal advice from someone who is so invested in his faith that he can't help but share it with others. Gary writes from his own experience and does not shy away from discussing his own doubts, struggles and fears; he also never fails to acknowledge how the grace of God has helped him overcome those.

Gary describes "Ten Amazingly Easy Steps" to encounter Jesus in your own life. While the steps may be "easy," they do require effort on your part--but that effort will bear great spiritual fruit!

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As part of working through Step One, "Break Down the Walls," Gary invites the reader to consider the order in which you list your prayer requests.

Do you pray for yourself before you pray for others? Do you ever ask the Lord what you can do for him, or do you spend most of your prayer time telling him what you need? If you see a problem here, it's one that's very easy to fix. By changing the order of your petitions and telling the Lord you're at his service, you will put the needs of others before your own.

Also, try meditating on the Lord's passion. It is a very effective way to overcome this obstacle. Before long, you'll find yourself thinking less about your needs and more about how much Jesus loves you. (51)

In other parts of the book, Gary recommends Eucharistic Adoration, studying the Catechism, receiving the Sacraments, reading Scripture and turning to Mary among the ways you can learn to draw closer to Jesus.

Find a Real Friend in Jesus is easy to read and an excellent book to take to prayer as you seek to draw closer to the Lord.

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Be sure to check out our Book Notes archive.

Copyright 2016 Barb Szyszkiewicz, OFS