40 Days with the Holy Spirit: Fresh Air for Every Day (Paperback)
40 Days with the Holy Spirit will inspire you to encounter God in fresh and surprising ways. You’ll develop stronger spiritual muscles as you breathe, read, reflect, and pray—all with an eye to cultivating a relationship with the least familiar member of the Trinity. The book is interactive, offering the opportunity to write and pray each day; intelligent, rooted in a rigorous study of scripture, from Genesis to Revelation; and inviting, with 40 insightful, well-planned 20-30 minute daily exercises; and prayerful, with 40 original prayers that capture each day’s insight into the deep, spiritual work of the Holy Spirit.
About the Author
Jack Levison holds the W. J. A. Power Chair of Old Testament Interpretation and Biblical Hebrew at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University. Raised in a tract house in Levittown, New York, Jack left to attend Wheaton College, followed by an MA at Cambridge University. When he returned from England to pursue doctoral studies at Duke University, Jack fell in love with a divinity student, Priscilla Pope, whose office is now just down the hall from him at SMU. With essays in the Huffington Post, parade.com, relevant.com, and beliefnet.com, Jack’s writing and speaking appeal to a wide swath of readers. In the course of his career, he has received the Fitzpatrick Prize for theology at Cambridge University, as well as grants from the National Humanities Center, the Lilly Fellows Program, the Louisville Institute, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the Rotary Foundation, the International Catacomb Society, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Jack lives in Lower Greenville, a thriving urban hub of Dallas, with Priscilla—and not too far from his adult children, Chloe and Jeremy.
“Jack Levison’s book is not an overly intellectual look at the Holy Spirit, but really examines what it means to live a Spirit-filled life. A needed resource for those looking to be guided by the Holy Spirit found in Scripture. Jack opens our minds to the fullness of the Holy Spirit and removes the human limitations that we often place on this person of the Trinity, teaching us to hear and obey as God speaks.” — Dr. John M. Perkins, Co-founder of the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA), Founder and President Emeritus of the John and Vera Mae Perkins Foundation
“Jack Levison studies, meditates, prays and writes of the place of the Holy Spirit in our lives with more skill and understanding than anyone I know.” —Eugene Peterson, from the foreword
“Jack Levison's new devotional will guide you into the theme of the Holy Spirit in Scripture, aiming for spiritual formation, not just spiritual information. My favorite part: the simple prayers at the end of each reading. A beautiful, accessible, and soul-nourishing resource!” —Brian D. McLaren, Author of We Make the Road by Walking
“Jack Levison brings together scholarship, Scripture meditation, concrete practices, and compelling inspiration. He helps us retrieve the tragically lost centrality of the Holy Spirit in the mainline Christian world. Here comes the return of the fire and the wind!” —Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM
“This is a book designed to guide readers into greater understanding of the Holy Spirit. As the author puts it, ‘It’s intended to prompt you to reflect at your own pace and to absorb, slowly and deliberately, the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life, your community of faith and the world.’ Within the biblical universe the Spirit is the One who gives power to sustain faith, courage to face fears and conviction to speak boldly. This same Spirit is alive now. This book of 40 daily devotions is designed to be a practice that will both increase your learning about the Spirit but more importantly expand your experience of the Spirit. Read—meditate—reflect—breathe—pray. This is the pattern of the book; it’s a pattern that leads inward, outward and back again. What might happen in our lives and our congregations if we gave more attention to the Holy Spirit? Find out.” —Roy W. Howard, The Presbyterian Outlook
“Is it possible to live a Spirit-filled life amid our daily distractions and demands? Jack Levison assures us it is and offers a path to wisdom through stillness and abandonment…This book leads us to the ultimate Source, the Spirit. It is a guide not just for 40 days, but a lifetime.” —Judith Valente, Correspondent, Religion & Ethics Newsweekly and author of The Art of Pausing
“Levison, who teaches Old Testament at Perkins School of Theology, has made a career of studying Spirit in scripture. He puts his significant learning in accessible form in this book intended for use as inspirational reading over a 40-day period, which could be used for Lent or any time of year. Whenever they think of Spirit, Christians are inclined to think of Pentecost, baptismal liturgy, gifts of the Spirit—or noisy charismatics. Levison shows that there is so much more about the Spirit that can enrich our thinking about the God who is Spirit. The Spirit is involved in the biblical story from the outset: in the first creation story in Genesis it was the Spirit who brooded over the primordial chaos. It is God’s spirit that gives each person breath. The simple prayers Levison offers at the end of each day’s reading are themselves worthy of meditation.” —The Christian Century
“Jack Levison combines a scholar's intimate knowledge of scripture with a born writer's mastery of nuance, style, empathy and humor. Every page of this book brims with reverence for God and common-sense wisdom won the hard way.” —David Laskin, author of The Family
“40 Days with the Holy Spirit opens a door for all seekers, religious and irreligious, to experience ‘God’s Spirit-breath within.’ This is more than a must read—it's food for busy and hungry hearts.”—Dr. Michael Rakes, Pastor at Winston Salem First
“Levison is an excellent guide to a life in the Spirit that is often quiet in its expression, but which will lead to a deeper encounter with God. As he notes, the journey moves from deep within to the world outside. It is a call to grow in faith and practice. It is an experience worth embracing, and I found it a deeply enriching and rewarding experience, which meant that I completed the journey.” —Robert Cornwall, Ponderings on a Faith Journey
“As with many Paraclete books, the book is shaped for the church calendar and this one for Lent, but this book far transcends Lent. It is for personal spiritual formation. What matters perhaps most about the Holy Spirit is that we don’t ‘get’ the Spirit conceptually and internally all at once (even if you are charismatic!) but we need to learn about the Spirit more and more. We learn not by cramming it all into one session—grabbing a concordance, a dictionary and a big theological book—but by daily long term routine exposure. Jack’s book is designed to do that: 40 days. Stories, good Bible study, and a prayer at the end of each short chapter. Gathered around seven verbs and these verbs organize the themes of the book: breathing, praying, practicing, learning, leading, building, and blossoming. This is a devotional…by a world class Bible scholar…and he’s not pandering to anyone’s theology … and he opens the Bible and lets the Spirit turn chaos into order.” —Scot McKnight
“40 Days with the Holy Spirit will inspire you to encounter God in fresh and surprising ways. You'll develop stronger spiritual muscles as you breathe, read, reflect, and pray—all with an eye to cultivating a relationship with the least familiar member of the Trinity. 40 Days with the Holy Spirit is interactive, offering the opportunity to write and pray each day; intelligent, rooted in a rigorous study of scripture, from Genesis to Revelation; and inviting, with 40 insightful, well-planned 20-30 minute daily exercises; and prayerful, with 40 original prayers that capture each day's insight into the deep, spiritual work of the Holy Spirit. 40 Days with the Holy Spirit is very highly recommended to the attention of all Christians regardless of their denominational affiliation.” —Midwest Book Review