Books with Shepherd's Prayer
Title: The Shepherds’ Prayer: A Christmas Novel
Author: Richard M. Barry
Publisher: RM Barry Publications Retail Price: $12.95 U.S., $14.95 Canada
Dimensions: 5¼” x 7¾”
Number of Pages: 128
Binding: Perfect-bound hardcover
ISBN Numbers: Hardcover book: 0-9767290-5-9 Audiobook: 0-9767290-6-7
Website: ShepherdsPrayer.com & ChristmasBook.com
Audiobook: 3 CDs; John McDonough, Narrator; $12.95
Length: 3 hours
The Story Behind The Shepherds’ Prayer
It was the Christmas season of 1997 when I began thinking about the story that would eventually become The Shepherds’ Prayer. My wife and I had just returned from church. We were talking about how wonderful the story of Christ’s birth was and what it meant to the world then and now. For all the good that came of His birth and for all that generations have read and talked about it since then, there also was great sadness that resulted in Bethlehem when Herod ordered the killing of all the male babies. Not much has been written or is ever said about that traumatic event and how it must have impacted the people of Bethlehem and their attitudes about the poor Galilean child who was the target of Herod’s wrath. And not much has been written about the shepherds who were the first to proclaim that this child was the promised Messiah. How might their lives have been affected by Herod’s massacre?
I started thinking about those untold stories and, after researching them, found that they were inspiring stories that were begging to be told. And so I set out to try to tell them in a way that would lead the reader on his or her own journey to discover Christ and what it truly means to be a Christian.
We all need to be reminded in a deeper way why we celebrate this time of year. This Christmas season, I sincerely hope this story will help you to see the birth of Christ in a new and thought-provoking way. Consider reading it each year as a Christmas tradition in your home.
About the Author
Richard M. Barry is an author, publisher, inventor, entrepreneur and committed Christian who wrote The Shepherds’ Prayer to help disseminate the untold story of the Bethlehem shepherds of the Bible. A labor of love, the inspiring story of tragedy, suffering, faith, hope and triumphant vindication took nine years to complete. A native of Texas, Barry now lives with his family in the Denver suburb of Centennial, Colo.
About the AudioBook Narrator
What People Have Been Saying About The Book (Reviews)
Average reader rating is 4.6 out of 5 stars based on 171 reviews.
Read other reviews from Amazon.com and independent bloggers.
I just wanted to let you know that we loved your book here in New York. We are a community of Little Sisters of the Poor. We take care of the Aged poor. It is our blessed mission. Some of our meals are taken in silence and so someone gave me the gift of your 3 CDs. The reader as well as your book had us all so taken up with the story, that sometimes it ended up that we were 40 minutes at the dinner table. We are 20 Little Sisters here, and all of us just loved the story.
Then I went to visit our sisters in Totowa New Jersey. I am at this time the major superior of the eastern province of our Religious Family. They had listened to it too. They found it so inspiring. We talked about it in both communities, and found many lessons to put into our lives. The ending is so touching that I had to fight back the tears. I guess we all think about seeing JESUS face to face. Won’t that be a wonderful encounter because it will be ETERNAL.
Richard, all the Sisters think it would be good if this could be put into a MOVIE? We just offer that suggestion. It’s so touching, and would make people think…and really realize what the coming of Jesus Christ is all about. Anyway, I wanted to express the gratitude of our Sisters for the gift and talent you let the Holy Spirit share through this book. I am going to get it for our Communities in the USA. We are an international order, but in 2008 I thought I would get it during the season of Advent. It prepares the feast of Christmas in a special way. Let us pray for one another and for the world that the peace the Angels announced will envelope the whole world and rejoice the Heart of Our God. Many thanks Richard.
— In His Love, Sister Margaret Regina lsp
Richard Barry’s novel, The Shepherds’ Prayer, is a Christmas treasure! Reading The Shepherds’ Prayer, I imagined how the shepherds must have felt on that blessed night of Christ’s birth more than 2,000 years ago; so afraid when the angel of the Lord appeared to them with the news of the Savior’s birth, yet trusting completely in the word of God. The Shepherds’ Prayer tells the tale of one man’s search for the truth of who he is, where he came from, and how he fits into God’s story. Anam’s search is our search — when we seek the truth, we always find Christ!
— Jeff Cavins, author and creator of “The Great Adventure, The Bible Timeline”
Richard Barry’s fictitious story of Anam’s journey in The Shepherd’s Prayer drew me to the cradle of Our Lord like no other story before. It allowed my imagination to experience what an extraordinary grace the nativity was for those who witnessed it and for those who would come to know Christ for the next two thousand years. A must-read for all ages, The Shepherd’s Prayer is a classic tale that will transport its readers to the very moment when the Word is made Flesh.
— Matthew Pinto, Founder and president, Ascension Press
Richard Barry takes you on a dramatic trip to the Holy Land. The Shepherds’ Prayer, although fiction, helps us identify with those closest to the events on that most silent and holy night. Just grab a cup of coffee or cocoa, throw a few logs on the fire, and plan to leave the commercialism of the world behind and rediscover the true meaning of Christmas.
— Teresa Tomeo, author and syndicated Catholic talk show host
REVIEWS WITH READER RATINGS:
5 starsWOW!!! I drove to Wichita on Sunday so The Shepherds’ Prayer on CD was my church this week. In case you weren’t aware, it is difficult to drive at freeway speeds with eyes over-brimming with tears. John McDonough was a terrific choice as the reader. The total work was inspired and I thank you for it. It will certainly become part of our Christmas observances. T. Buck, CPA
5 stars As one who has labored to communicate the gospel of Jesus as an ordained minister, I am so grateful to you for this fine Christmas novel. The conclusion is enough to bring tears. I have also written about the good news of Christmas and I am sending along a copy of my book in gratitude for yours. Rev. Albert S. Lawrence, Jr., The Woodlands, Tx.
5 stars I really enjoyed this book. It was so different to hear the story about Jesus being told that way. I am going to share this book with my family. Thank you! It was a blessing. Paula B.
5 stars A good Christian novel with a very different perspective to read, especially at Advent/Christmas. A wonderful family story to inspire us and share. CAS
4.5 stars I became very engaged in the story. Hard to put book away — I kept looking forward to the next step. Story written with lots of depth — great description of every character and stages throughout. Book is highly recommended and shall be shared with others. Thank you for touching my spirit!
4.5 stars I really enjoyed your book. To read this story is a very refreshing and pleasant experience. I enjoyed being taken back to a different time and place. In the difficult world we live in today, this little book with its enlightening story was a joy to read! Write more! Thanks.
5 stars I felt I was right back in Bethlehem and though I knew it was a novel it all seemed so plausible and possible. A really great read!!
5 stars I could not put this book down, it was just captivating!
4 stars Inspirational Christian fiction can cause the human mind to be re-energized and refocused on the spiritual realm beyond one’s earthly eyesight. Such is indeed the case with The Shepherds’ Prayer by Richard M. Barry. This book, dealing with the birth of Christ and King Herod’s attempt at murdering the Savior as an infant, is an easy read for all ages. It is a story that reinforces the tenets of the Christian faith, while at the same time provides the reader with some interesting plot twist and emotional struggle.
One of my favorite Ernest Hemingway books is “The Old Man and the Sea.” The classic novel keeps the story simple but interesting and flowing. The Shepherd’s Prayer does the same. The dialogue is simple, but it makes the story more solid. As the main character, Anam, searches for clues to his past and its relation to the virgin birth of the Messiah, I found myself rooting for him to succeed. At the same time, I was full of intrigue as to what each new piece of information would lead Anam to do. Would he stop digging up clues? Would he ever feel like he had reached the conclusion of his investigation? It was hard to stop reading this well-penned novel (or novella, possibly).
This work reminds us that it is not always easy to follow the will of God to believe the prophecies and the guidance God’s holy word provides. Many characters in this narrative have their faith tested by amazing sacrifices. Their steadfast service to the Lord is a stirring dose of medicine to the complacent Christian or nonbeliever who happens across Barry’s fictional anecdote.
I have read some reviews that have shown disfavor on this story for being only 123 pages in length. I think it is a blessing that so much wise and spiritual guidance is placed in such a short manuscript. In today’s busy world, a book such as The Shepherds’ Prayer will be read by more individuals, maybe even many who have never read such material. Christian fiction has been on the rise for quite some time now; The Shepherds’ Prayer is a great addition to this up and coming literary revolution. It is also the type of book that people will definitely buy in bulk to give to friends and relatives.
Anam believes angels, at times, are watching over him, keeping him safe from pitfalls and destruction. In many ways, this book makes me wonder if Barry should include “Heaven’s Holy Angels” as the coauthor of his fine piece of literary work. — Dan Blankenship, Author of “The Running Girl”
5 stars It was spiritual, very interesting. Hard to put down. I will just have to read it again.
5 stars I really enjoyed The Shepherds’ Prayer. I started to read it after I had settled down on the couch around 10:00pm and only intended to read a few chapters before going to bed. But I started reading and couldn’t put it down. It was very touching and exciting. I have been wanting to bring God back into my life and this was just what I needed. Thanks!
5 stars I started reading as soon as I took it out of the package and never put it down until I had read the last word. The story reminded me of a wonderful dream I had when I was 7 years and 7 months and was having a reoccurrence of Rheumatic Fever. I had longed to go to the Midnight Mass, but instead, I was put to bed, very ill. I cried until I fell asleep and dreamt that an angel came and flew with me to Bethlehem where I saw the Holy Family. Mary smiled on me and lifted the Babe so I could see His Face and He too smiled on me. And then the skies were filled with baby angels singing “Gloria In Excelsis Deo”… No need to say I got well very quickly. Your book took me back to my childhood. I have read it several times and plan to give away several copies. AMD — St. Thomas, VI
4.5 stars We so enjoyed The Shepherds’ Prayer. I read it out loud to everyone as we traveled over Christmas. It is a wonderful story with suspense and warmth. My sister read it to her family as well. I’ll keep it in my Christmas box and it will become another tradition. Thanks and congratulations on a great story!
4.5 stars I couldn’t put it down. I stayed up late tonight to finish it. The story fit very well into the truth. I don’t feel it distorted truth at all. I felt as if I stepped into that time and was right there in Bethlehem and the shepherds’ hills. I could see the angels and experience along with the shepherds the overwhelming joy. The portrayal of male-type angels was especially strong and realistic. The ending was GREAT!
4.5 stars I thought this book was wonderful.
5 stars I rate this short book a 10 because it has given me a whole different outlook on the nativity. Every Christmas we put out our nativity. We see these sweet shepherds there to adore Jesus, and then we move on in our thoughts. This story helps me to understand that God always asks for suffering to bring about the great things in his kingdom. Knowing that the shepherds suffered gives the little nativity a passion that I couldn’t see before.
4.5 stars This book is a blessing to me. Thank you. It made me think more of what the town of Bethlehem went through. Also, I felt the theme of seeking the truth throughout the book. It was probably a challenge to write a novel situated so long ago. Therefore, the thoughts of modern men are pervasive in the book. But then again, people/readers will relate better in their own quest of seeking the truth or meaning in life. I am interested in translating this book into Italian language. May God bless you and use this book to draw many to him.
4.5 stars The book started slow and really came together at the end. My first reaction was: “Is this fiction? How much of this is true?” … I would hope it’s all true. If so, Mel Gibson should get a copy of this book!! Dan C.
5 stars I am 86 yrs old. Retired Southern Baptist Pastor. I have never read anything like this. You have taken Biblical stories and Prophecies and woven them into a most remarkable and fascinating book. You have combined a vivid imagination with factual truth to create a book that I had to read quickly. Two sittings to finish it. Thank you! I could read this book as a report of actual happenings. God bless you. Dan J. Dunkel
4 stars Very good, well written story. I sat down and read the whole thing in one sitting. It was quite thought provoking but it wasn’t “preachy”. Thank you very much. Mark
4.5 stars It was such a great approach to the wonderful message of Jesus Christ and His life on earth.
4 stars I really enjoyed this easy reading book and the story sounded very plausible. My favorite part was when Jesus spoke with the shepherds. The very first ones who had the privilege of adoring him. Very heart warming!
5 stars This story is wonderful! It brings you a step closer to the Christmas story and to Jesus. I was hearing facts I already knew, but in a different perspective that was so enlightening. You can feel the love, joy, and amazement of the shepherds and Anam. Thank you!
5 stars This book is awesome. You did a great job pulling the story together. It is profound. I could also feel the great love of Jesus at the end. I am a believer. So for me it was a fascinating story. Is this a way to reach those who do not have faith in Jesus? Wishing you the very best with this powerful, profound little book.
3.5 stars I liked the perspective it gave on how we are all affected by Christ’s existence, just in different ways. It also shows that we must all follow a path of our own choosing to “find ourselves.”
5 stars Thank you so much for sending me a copy of your wonderful book, The Shepherds’ Prayer !! I brought it back to Chicago with me and had the pleasure of reading it late in the evening of Christmas Eve-the perfect time!! I found it to be well written, exciting, compelling, thought provoking and perfect for a movie! Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful book with me. I hope it gets spread far and wide! I loved it! What a fabulous story idea. I really can see it as a movie!! Celeste T.
3.5 stars Darling story that brings the whole biblical event of the birth and life of Jesus into a view from eyes of those involved without really knowing they were involved. Kept me interested!
4.5 stars This is a good story. I’ve always enjoyed Biblically-based stories from a new perspective and this is a viewpoint I’d not considered before. Thanks for offering this book to me. I definitely think there is a market for this book.
4.5 stars I liked the direction from where the story came, to where it led me. Very interesting and thought provoking concept. It felt real and true. Look forward to hearing more stories in the future. The use of some Biblical terms and concepts along with factual content helped me take the leap into the story as if in the moment of now. Thank you. Enjoyed it fully. D.D., Methuen, MA
5 stars Thank you for the wonderful Christmas gift! I couldn’t put it down. I read it from front to back! Don’t change a thing!
5 stars Very interesting reading. Interesting viewpoint.
5 stars It was wonderful! Thank you for sending it. Don’t change a thing!
5 starsThank you for sending me a copy of the Shepherd’s Prayer! It was a wonderfully inspiring book to read! I plan on reading it each Christmas. I have been to the Holy Land in 1999; each Lent the Gospels (and this time of the church year) just come alive to me even after many years. Reading this book brought me closer to the 13 days I spent in the Holy Land, Egypt and Jordan. One of my fondest memories was visiting the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. It was a small quiet town and one that has seen and continues to have much turbulence. I remember the door to the church is named the Door of Humility and one needs to stoop to enter the church. I understand this was done so during the Crusades, horses couldn’t enter the church to destroy its interior. Anyways, I enjoyed the book VERY much and already passed it along to a neighbor. Chris W.
5 stars I would like 10 more copies!…
4.5 stars Very good read with perspectives I had not considered, ie Bethlehemites attitude and how even at the beginning, each individual has to decide if they will believe in Jesus as Messiah. Thanks so much! It’s a delightful story with a definitive salvation msg. Joyce C.
4 stars My wife and I enjoyed this very much. Good job! Thank you.
4 stars I thought it was very good – I’d definitely read more!
4.5 stars A refreshing and exhilarating behind the scenes imaginative and reality reinforced event around the birth and life of Christ and a possible parallel happening to the protagonists, Anam’s life. It’s easy to read and understand language makes it a “must read” to a wide age range of readers. Carmen and Vicente S.
4 stars I enjoyed reading this story of Jesus birth through the eyes of the shepherds and Anam.
5 stars I enjoyed this story very much and would be interested in reading more stories like these! A++
4.5 stars It held my interest. It felt true to the Jewish Theology. Very thoughtful, re what other people of the time experienced at the birth of Jesus. A thoughtful portrayal of the grief Herod caused in Bethlehem. The main character and his journey is a brilliant concept for a story. The Biblical authority was maintained. The awesome God well revealed. A great story!!
5 stars Easy read. Simple message. Uplifting. Humbling. Directs me to be more Christ-like. Easily identify myself in Anam. The search continues. Thank you very much. Phil R.
5 stars I enjoyed reading The Shepherds’ Prayer very much!
4.5 stars A simple, pleasant, fictional tale to read around Christmas – it appeared very Biblically based, it was refreshing to read about characters with a sincere reverence for God/Jesus. Thank you for this wonderful gift. Amy E.
5 stars Liked the book very much.
4.5 stars I was pleasantly surprised to receive The Shepherds’ Prayer with my order … I would not consider myself a “reader”, but thought I would see what the book was all about. I couldn’t put it down. A delightful blessing! Thank you. I hope to pass it on so others can share in the blessing. God Bless!
5 stars It was beautiful! And so well written. It truly touched my heart. … I hope to be able to read this beautiful story to my grandchildren and receive more copies to share. Thank you so much. I am so grateful! Marilyn V.
5 stars I really enjoyed reading The Shepherds’ Prayer. I felt like I was right there in the events that were taking place. The story was excellent.
5 stars Wahoo Richard! The Shepherds’ Prayer is a GREAT STORY! Congratulations and thanks for the book! I really enjoyed reading it. It was an excellent Christmas story and a lovely Christmas gift. The story was very creative, inspiring, interesting and thought provoking. Your plot kept me moving right through the book. You included history and mystery in a great combination. The feel of the story was Christian and reverent without being preachy. You did a wonderful job. Thanks for sharing it with me.
4.5 stars I really liked the book. It made me want to read it until the end to find out what happened.
4.5 stars I dearly loved the story. Would have enjoyed even more detail. Am planning on passing it around to friends. Thanks so much. Linda M.
5 stars Very intriguing story line to relate the greatest story ever told. The moments flew as I read The Shepherds’ Prayer. I have known the Savior the better part of my life and the story of his birth never grows old. Thank you for your gift of this book. I shall re-read it often!! In His Name, Oscar J.
4.5 stars Dear Richard, a copy of your book arrived in the mail before Christmas. I read it in one sitting on December 27, the feast of Holy innocents, which commemorates the killing of baby boys when Jesus was born. Your book makes that event come alive. This is important for a world that sees the Bible as dead history. Your book was a wonderful Christmas surprise for me. Faithfully, Jerry Winterrowd (retired Episcopal Bishop of Colorado)
4.5 stars Hi. I just wanted to say that I finished reading The Shepherds’ Prayer and thoroughly enjoyed it! Excellent! I think the book is fabulous and I will be sharing my copy with a friend and passing the word about it. Thank you.
4.5 stars Thank you very much for sending The Shepherds’ Prayer. Once I started reading it I couldn’t put it down! Thanks for sending this to me! Eleanor D., Vancouver, WA
4.5 stars I received The Shepherds’ Prayer book the other day. Thank you. I started reading it and I didn’t put it down until it was done. It was great. Thanks again, Teresa A.
4.5 stars It is a marvelous story! I consider myself to be a disciple of Jesus Christ and I try every day to live my life the way He would have me. I have testimony that He is the Son of God–my Savior and the redeemer of the world. It is a very uplifting story that is told simply and with feeling, so much so that it brought tears to my eyes as I read. Thank you again. Maurice E.
4.5 stars I think it’s wonderful! It’s very believable, therefore it is something many can relate to. Our God is an Awesome God and you depicted that extremely well! I love it. Gail A.
5 stars This was a wonderful book. Beautiful story.
5 stars I really enjoyed this book. The Christmas story is brought to life to me in a new way as seen from the perspective of the humblest of participants and the search that Stephen sets out on reminds me that as we each seek the truth what we find when we are confronted with truth of the birth of Jesus we can never return the same as we started.
RETURN TO TOP
5 stars Kept me reading till the end. I liked the story line, just enough mystery to keep it exciting.
4 stars Thanks so much. You wrote this story from a cultural perspective but there were several things that didn’t fit. I don’t know if you did this on purpose. I liked the story very much. Even though I read it “critically,” I got caught up in the story. Sherry V.
4.5 stars In reading this book I could not help but think of a video I once watched called “The Fourth Wise Man.” This book, like that video, has, I believe, the characteristic of a broad appeal to a wide range of viewers and readers. I am neither a writer nor a critic of literature, but I do read a lot. One of the things I find in many books I read is that authors have a tendency to be repetitive in telling their story. It’s almost as though they have set the number of pages they want to write before they start the book and are determined to fill those pages. This author has not fallen into that trap. In summation, I can only say I really liked the book and would change nothing. I believe it has potential to be a classic Christmas video, if the author is so inclined to pursue that.”
4.5 stars My husband and I thought the book was excellent! I read 7 chapters while the kids went ice skating. I was disappointed when I saw them get off the ice, which meant I had to wait until later to finish it. I was totally captivated by the entire book, wanting to know what would come next. Being an adopted person, I was very interested to read on about how his life unfolded. We intend to read it to our kids, or have the older ones read it themselves. Thank you for the awesome gift and good luck with reaching many more readers. Mindy D.
4.5 stars Richard, I started your book with the intent of reading one chapter before bed. It turns out I read half the book that first night while staying up an hour beyond my intentions. I couldn’t put it down. It seems to me that you really have a talent for writing. Is this your first book? My favorite part was when the shepherds gathered and recounted their personal memories of that special night 30 years before. That was quite moving to me. It caused me to recall my own special night 25 years ago when I first met Jesus.
4.5 stars I’m not a Christian, but I still found this book interesting and entertaining.
4 stars I normally enjoy science fiction or classics written around the 19th century, but I found this book thoroughly enjoyable! The storyline was good, character presentation, and grammar as well. I would love to read more books from this author!
4.5 stars Excellent, excellent book! A real gift this Christmas. Very easy reading, would appeal to young and old alike. Thank you so much! Keep up the good work.
5 stars I believe that our first purpose is to love God with all our heart and secondly love our neighbors as ourselves. This book The Shepherds’ Prayer has every character who does just that. I read the book in one evening praying from page three that Anam would find his heritage as well as his purpose on earth. Patricia E.
4.5 stars When I first started to read the book, I didn’t have time to read it straight through, so only read the first few pages, enough to know I wanted to read the whole thing and would enjoy it. When I picked it up again, I did go on to finish it right then. I didn’t want to put it down. It is a very inspiring story that makes Christians think in ways they hadn’t previously about the birth of the Savior and the effect it had on the people of that time. Hopefully, it will make the birth of Jesus become more real to non-Christians, causing them to realize they need to make a decision about Him and what they will do in response to His arrival, this God with us. Hopefully, they will make the right decision, the one that will give them eternal life and the privilege of being aware of His presence with them during this present life. Thank you, Mr. Barry, for writing the book that the Holy Spirit inspired you to write.
4.5 stars I loved the book. It brought tears to my eyes. I did not want the story to end. The story of [Anam] and the shepherds brought the story about the birth of Jesus alive, made it more real. Thanks.
4 stars My husband and I read this book and enjoyed it very much. I felt quite into the story while reading it. Well written.
4.5 stars Great story! Kept my interest. Perfect time of year for this book. This would make one great movie. I will be sharing this book, watching for the movie, and checking the book stores for more Richard M. Barry. Thanks, you’re blessed!
4.5 stars I enjoyed The Shepherds’ Prayer. It was a fast read, but compelling to keep my attention. I would read more of Barry’s writings if available. I knew the prophetic writings and know Christ, but I never thought of how the lives of the shepherds must have been changed so after their encounter with the angels. Take script to www.mardel.com, submit book for review!
4.5 stars Very inspiring. Engaging. I read it over 2 very busy days wanting to discover the ending. I want to share this with a nephew (adopted), as I believe there are themes of interest to all those involved in adoption. Thank you!
5 stars I started to read The Shepherds’ Prayer on Christmas night. Little did I know until I attended mass the next morning that December 26th is the feast day of Saint Stephen. I am not sure of the significance of this but for me having read this story the night before was quite profound. As I began to read the book the style of your writing captivated me from beginning until the end. I was unable to put the book down. As I finished the book I had a sense of peace, joy, gratitude and a desire to never be afraid to share the “Good News” of Jesus Christ. My thought was the same of that of another family member who had read the book — that this book should be made into a movie to be played every year around the Christmas season. Matt D.
4.5 stars Excellent. I read it through in one sitting. I was so riveted! This book has renewed my hope.
5 stars I recommended this book right away. It is the kind of book you want to share. A blessed story well told. Thank you. Greta H.
4.5 stars When I started it I could not put it down. A very inspiring story. You took an event from scripture and added a very nice spin. Good job!
4.5 stars This was well written. It held my interest to read it through in one sitting. The story was beautiful. I really enjoyed it! It would be excellent for school 5th through 9th grades. My grandson who is in 7th grade really enjoyed the book also. Mimi S
5 stars A believable portrayal of the people, land, and customs of the time between Jesus birth and public life. The faith of the shepherds was inspiring. Anam’s search is in all of us and shows we can seek and find and knock and the door will be open. A good book, thought provoking. Thanks
5 stars Excellent book. Kept my interest. Did not want to put down. Shows what great faith can do for you.
4 stars I really liked this book and it got me thinking about how Jesus was rejected by his own people, but reminds me of John 1:11 “He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe in his name.” This book really got me thinking about Christ’s birth in a new way in that the majority did not accept him, but the few who did will inherit eternal life.
4.5 stars I enjoyed reading your book The Shepherds’ Prayer. I thought it was well written, fun to read, and paced so the reader keeps interested in what’s coming next. Most of all it was a moving inspirational story for the devout. At the end, the reader knows Anam and will remember his story for a long long time. Congratulations on a good read! William K.
4.5 stars Fast moving. Intriguing story line kept me reading. Fantastic approach on the Christmas story. Demonstrates the inner message of the role of mankind through the eyes of the shepherds.
4.5 stars Riveting. Really had me guessing and hard to put down. Easy reading. Good story. Good mind pictures. Bless you.
4 stars An interesting way of introducing the Messiah. Definitely a book to share with a loved one. One man’s journey to find his roots and found life through Christ. An excellent perspective. Brian D., Carthage, IL
4.5 stars I loved the story. Shepherds become human not just a sideline in a well known story. Some parts become too detailed yet the story kept my interest. You have a gift to be used for God’s plan on earth. God Bless. Deacon P.
4.5 stars I just want to thank you for sending us a copy of your book for Christmas. I just got around to reading it two nights ago and I want to let you know that I enjoyed it very much. As an engineer, I hadn’t read a fictional book since high school (1985) until 2-1/2 years ago when I read Michael O’Brien’s Father Elijah after meeting him at the Midwest Catholic Family Conference in Wichita. Since then I’ve read all of his books and I’m always looking for good Catholic fictional literature. Despite being fictional, there is always truth to be found. Your book packs many messages: the irrelevance of heritage and wealth in the eyes of God, the importance of humility, our Christian mission to seek out and proclaim the Truth, the importance of solitude to understand God’s will for us, the supporting evidence that Jesus is the Messiah, remembrance of the Lost Innocents, true reverence of God, and the enormous depth of God’s love for us. Your perspective on how the townspeople of Bethlehem must have viewed Jesus after the slaughter of the Innocents was quite interesting and insightful. I enjoyed the comment about lambs dreaming of greener pastures (just as we all do!) and the part when Anam comes to meet Jesus. The book portrays these messages in a manner which should be appealing not only to Christians, but non-Christians as well. Congratulations on a very inspirational work. God bless you and your family. Hubert E.
4.5 stars A new timeless classic for all ages! I dog eared page 57…and looking back I think it was “his heart was filled with the joy…” that spoke to me. It was amazing to be handed this, when I had been contemplating the shepherds at Christmas and decided I would like to be one of them! I love the front and cover. It’s a gentle step into another time, the sacrifice of many for Jesus after his birth and yet more to come as [deleted because it gives part of the story away]. Thank you!
3.5 stars This book was very interesting. I couldn’t put it down. It was a narrative that could have easily been true. I passed it on to my sister, a nun. Thank you, Lucie H.
4.5 stars What a great way to look at an old story in a new way, and to link the lives of biblical characters. Mr. Barry did a wonderful job writing this book. Excellent story and details. I even liked the short length of the book. My husband enjoyed it too. Write some more! Deb W., Montgomery, Alabama
3.5 stars I had never thought how the parents of the babies that were killed would have blamed Jesus and his birth instead of Herod. But on further thought, I’m sure that is probably how they viewed it. He had caused it as far as they were concerned. So the book was thought provoking. I appreciate that in a book.
4 stars I thought this book was very well written. It was an easy read and strengthened my belief in life everlasting. I had never thought of the after effects of Herod’s massacre. I had never thought that innocent people would be blamed. I would read more books like this. Marge D.
5 stars It got my attention right away. I didn’t want to put it down. Very well written.
5 stars I thoroughly enjoyed The Shepherds’ Prayer. The words just ran together beautifully and it was a nicely put together account of a possible happening, during the time our Lord lived among us. Thanks for the great story.
5 stars I really enjoyed reading this book. It was a touching story. Totally held my interest right to the end. Thank you. Debbie S.
4 stars I enjoyed the story. Would be great to target a college audience in ways to find Jesus. They seem so lost in their direction of life. If they only knew God is leading the way if they only take the time to pray and trust God in their journey instead of looking always for the action (parties, booze, sex).
Wonderful story. Very easy reading style. Once you start it is difficult to put down and not finish in one reading. I think that it could be adapted into a children’s book. It could easily be adapted into a movie or a made for TV movie. Delightful to read!!
5 stars I feel this can help anyone who reads it. The author’s inspiration is touching and inspiring to anyone who reads this book. When I started I could not put it down. I will pass this on to my friends. I am looking forward for a follow up. May God bless you. Kathleen F.
4.5 stars I really loved the story and I know my husband did too! Thanks so much for sharing it with us! Judi P.
4.5 stars The first few pages peaked my interest. This book was just a delightful twist concerning the Christmas story. I enjoyed it very much. Thank you for your work.
4 stars I truly enjoyed this story! It helped me to visualize this miraculous event through the eyes of the shepherds. The impact it had must have been great and passed on through these people. The reaction of the townspeople to the events that followed also humanized the events that surrounded Christ’s birth. Thank you!
4.5 stars In our fast paced world of today, it is wonderful to be reminded of a remarkable event by seeing it anew through the eyes of humble, appreciative, and adoring shepherds of that chosen time. Such an innovative way to vividly bring a very familiar story to our mind’s eye and to stir our hearts. Thank you Mr. Barry! JE Bennett
4 starsI really enjoyed the book. I would love to give them as Christmas presents.
4.5 stars I think this book was wonderful. I especially loved how it told the story of how the shepherds came to be a part of the birth of Jesus Christ. I really enjoyed the book!
RETURN TO TOP
4.5 stars Hi Richard, I started to read your book to my children about a month ago and misplaced it. My almost 16 year-old son found it and finished it on his own. He says it was fascinating. I finished reading it to my two youngest daughters ages 12 and 7. It held their attention to the end. I liked the twist you put into the story, as we were expecting the shepherd Eli to turn out to be his father because of the blanket. And the premonition that this could be THE [deleted] that would die like his father had for his unwillingness to change his mind about his faith. I liked it very much. I am glad that God gives us a name above our earthly one that has such value, that our blood lines mean nothing, only His blood shed for us. Thanks for writing it. I hope you write more! Sincerely, Lucie C. PS. I will donate it to my church library so everyone can read it.
4 stars Interesting, thoughtful and unique perspective. Have given the book to our retired pastor to read. Anxious to get his response. Thank you for your gift to us. L. Freed
4 stars The story was very engaging. Simple enough in its narrative to be an easy read, but rich in depth of meaning. Very enjoyable.
4.5 stars I enjoyed it very much. Once I started it, I really couldn’t put it down. I ended up reading it in one day. I felt you did a great job of bringing the story alive. Good book. Keep up the writing.
4 stars I really enjoyed this book. The character development was succinct. The correlation between “the murder of the innocents” in your book and abortion today brought a tear to my eye. Lynne V.
5 stars Dear Mr. Barry, It is rare that a book inspires one to read more. The Shepherds’ Prayer is such a book. Enjoyable, intriguing, well written. I obviously enjoyed your book very much. Sincerely, Fran S.
5 stars I had the pleasure of reading your book. I received it when visiting my sister in Colorado. I read it on the flight back to Chicago. It was inspiring and uplifting and a reminder of how God works in our life if we ask him too! I would love to read more of your books!
4.5 stars It has to be read several times to comprehend. Touching! A lot like Og Mandinos’ writings. Keep up the “spiritual work”.
5 stars I thought the book was very good. It kept my interest until the end. It was inspiring and it made me think about my own faith more. Put your faith in Jesus and leave it there. Thanks Jane
4 stars The book started a bit slow and is very simply written, more like a children’s book. I did find myself drawn in though and was brought to tears several times. Overall, I liked it quite a bit and it made me want to follow Jesus even more.
5 stars The characters are totally believable. I’m no Bible expert, but my mother was, and I think she’d have been impressed with the details! When I finished the last page, I went on to read the back cover just so I could keep reading! Give us more please!
5 stars The Shepherds’ Prayer is a unique way of reminding us what the shepherds went through from the town’s people. I have never thought about that the shepherds might have been ridiculed. That they might have been blamed for the baby boy massacre in Bethlehem. Patricia S.
4 stars The book was very enjoyable and the story line captured the reader. A story that could have happened. There are many lessons of faith in this story. My wife and I both enjoyed this book and thank you for introducing us to it. Sincerely, Mr. & Mrs. G.
5 stars Great Book! A wonderful new perspective on a very turbulent but wondrous time. Thank you!
5 stars Great Way to convey the word of God!! Loved the book.
4 stars The book was a beautiful rendition of the shepherd’s experience. This would be nice to take many different perspectives of the nativity and put them in a set – i.e. Herod and the kings, the inn keeper etc. It would be a great Christmas gift. God Bless
4 stars Want more!
5 stars Wow! Wow! Wow! This is a beautiful story coming from a different angle than I have ever thought of. This book is an ordained piece. Thank you so much! May this little story be used to bring many into the kingdom of Jesus our Lord!
5 stars Excellent! When I was asked to read and evaluate this book, I thought, “Oh Boy!” But I am very pleasantly surprised! Especially with the visit of Jesus with the shepherds. Having visited Bethlehem and Israel, I could just picture this vividly! Thank you Mr. Barry.
5 stars Easy to read and hard to put down!
4.5 stars It is a wonderful story and I feel that you must have been truly inspired to come up with such a unique outlook on such a famous story.
4.5 stars I said 4 1/2 stars because nothing is ever perfect but I enjoyed the book. It made me think of things I’ve never thought about before. Your descriptions of scenes were excellent. Carol M.
5 stars I couldn’t put it down! I was very touched to learn the identity of the main character.
5 stars I enjoyed this book very much. It told a true story with such simplicity. I believe some younger people can read it easily and receive the message it gives. As persons 10, 12 years and older. Very glad I read it. I am 75 years old.
5 stars It was really easy to read; once I started it I couldn’t put it down. It touched me in a way that no other book has. I gave it to a friend to read, he’s very intellectual and he liked it but thought it was a little juvenile. Thank you for sending it to me. I’ve given it to another friend. Good Luck. Lola J.
5 stars The book was very inspiring. It made you believe that you should never give up. The answer is there, you need to look for it. It can be found if you don’t give up and keep searching with your heart no matter what other people think. Your heart if you believe in God. He can help you find what is hidden or lost to you.
5 stars A very enjoyable and beautiful story. Characters well described and easy to follow through the book. A book for all age groups.
5 stars A terrific little story, well written and simple, while at the same time profound. It is gripping. I couldn’t wait to get back to it. Fascinating. Theresita P.
4 stars Very interesting and thought provoking. Also entertaining. Reads good for a screenplay.
5 stars I enjoyed reading The Shepherd’s Prayer. It left me wanting to know what happened to [Anam].
4.5 stars I liked the light mystery. It was easy and quick to read with a good story line. Not too many characters. I loved the religious messages scattered throughout and message of hope.
5 stars It was a beautiful story. When our Lord told the shepherds “It is I, Jesus” it brought tears to my eyes. I believe your story was inspired by the Holy Spirit. God bless you Mr. Barry and all your good works. Mr. Tony M.
4.5 stars An easy enjoyable read. A real blessing. Loved trying to figure out who Anam really was. … The touch with the blanket inscription was great. Humanizing Anam’s parents, Joseph and Mary was good too. Eli, I loved him. Only improvement I could suggest is an improvement to the ending. But all to there it is excellent!
4 stars I think this would be a great must read for all Religious Education Classes for all ages around Christmas time. It’s a well written story.
4.5 stars Enjoyed the shepherds undying faith and passing it on to every generation. Most of all Jesus appearing to those who sustain their faith.
5 stars Original and unusual story. Most plausible. Well written. Very descriptive and authentic. Its underlying message: we really don’t know who we are. We are searching. We find ourselves in Jesus.
5 stars Wonderful. I have passed this on, along with the address so friends can look into their own books.
5 stars Wonderful book. Easy to understand. Could not put it down. Would like to read more books like this one. Thank you.
5 stars I enjoyed the book very much. I like the easy reading, and keeping my interest throughout the book.
4.5 stars This was truly a delightful book. I enjoyed reading it and I’m proud to be one of the first to read it. I’ve shared it with a friend and plan to have more read it.
4.5 stars Enjoyed the Story.
4 stars I think this would be great for young people – children. It gives a new view in story form and keeps one’s interest.
4 stars Thought it was good, it held my interest. I loved the story. Interesting to plan a story around the time period of Christ’s birth! Good detail. As I read I could picture in my mind what was happening!
4.5 stars It was a great read over the Christmas season. I so much anticipated the main character to be Jesus but duh—it couldn’t have been. I was pleasantly surprised when revealed who he was!
5 stars Excellent. Have loaned it out. We wish the story was true! Gives a lot of food for thought! I plan to buy several more books for gifts. Thank you.
4.5 stars Kept my attention. New appreciation of the shepherd’s role in the birth and life of Jesus. Enjoyed it.
5 stars This book The Shepherds’ Prayer was one of the greatest books ever. Kept my interest. I felt Anam’s sorrow, happiness and his journey. A very powerful feeling came over me when he met Jesus. Like he was speaking to me. Thank you!
5 stars I really liked this book. Made you think in a different way about the story of Jesus birth. Is there a sequel?
5 stars As a Christian myself, I felt the book was excellent and in good taste. It kept my interest throughout the book. Thanks! Donna Y.
5 stars Had to read the book a second time. Enjoyed it very much. Thank you.
3.5 stars Thank you for allowing me to read your book. The book kept me on edge and was very intrigued who Anam was. … There was a huge build up and then finished off to unexpected. Reminded me of an Og Mandino type book. Enjoyed the read. Keep it up! You are very talented.
4.5 stars My husband and I both read the book and agreed on 4 1/2 stars. The writing was very descriptive of the geographical area and the people. We enjoyed the mystery of the blanket – where it came from, why, who. A person of any religion could read this and compare it to church teachings and Bible accuracy. How about a sequel? Thank you for this enjoyable little book!
5 stars Great prose, conversation, background research. I’d love to have the story go on! How about more books – Phillip, Andrew, Bartholomew, Thomas!?! Is there any historical basis for the story? Just curious. WE WANT MORE! Go for it.
5 stars I think this book should be made into a movie. Please send a copy to Focus on the Family and to Family Life. Sincerely, Mary P.
4.5 stars I enjoyed this book very much. Made me think and imagine. I would like to buy more of your books. I have loaned the book to my friends in our prayer group. God Bless you. Mrs. M.
5 stars I thoroughly enjoyed this beautiful little book. It made me feel much better! I lost my only son at age 18 in 1973 – construction accident. This little book increased my already strong faith!
5 stars Wow! Wonderful. I enjoyed it so much. Margie W.
5 stars I enjoyed it very much. I wanted the story to continue. Thank you. Tracy H.
5 stars Well written, lively but serious. Can be read by everyone. George H.
5 stars Thank you for sharing your gift! I received your email this afternoon with the free e-book & was so captivated by the teaser that I began reading immediately … and as fate would have it, couldn’t put it down until completing the final page. What a wonderful book!
5 stars Dear Richard, the beginning confused me I thought something was missing after the prologue but once I read further into chapter one I was compelled to finish. I too in recent years have searched for knowledge of my Father whom I never met or knew, so as I read the story I had some wonderful heart felt moments. “Thank you” But also it reminded me of my responsibility as a Christian how I must endeavor to behave to my fellowman and continue spreading the word. After reading Acts 6-7. 22:20 I realize how little I know about Stephen,may God Bless you and touch many more.
5 stars Over the weekend I had the privilege to put my two wonderful kids Marissa (8) and Ross (4) to bed. We typically listen to stories on the ipod after reading books together and praying. I had recently downloaded the mp3 version and we listened to this book over two nights. Boy was it moving! I too liked the part when the shepherds got to adore Jesus. I will definitely be listening to it again with the wife and will be bringing it with us on our Christmas trip to Chicago! Brad Pollina
5 stars My parents and I listened to the book over the weekend. It’s one of those books that you just relax on the couch and listen to. I really like the message behind the story. I say, ‘It’s the Christmas story, but from a unique perspective.’ Excellent book. Thank you! Jonathan Hostetler, PA
First Press Release
THE CHRISTMAS STORY YOU’VE NEVER HEARD
Radio Dramatization Expected to Boost Sales of Christmas Novel
DENVER, Colo., October 23, 2008 – Santa Claus. Beautifully wrapped gifts. Eating lots of good food with family and friends. For many, that’s what Christmas is all about. But the author of a new book is determined to put the emphasis back where it belongs: on the birth of Jesus and how the Lord reinvigorates the lives of those who follow Him. His book, The Shepherds’ Prayer: A Christmas Novel, does just that, and will be playing as an “audio drama” on an estimated 1,500 Christian radio outlets in the U.S. this Christmas season.
Author and publisher Richard Barry based his fictional tale on the real lives of a group of men we’ve all heard about but typically overlook — the shepherds to whom the angel announced the birth of Jesus. Outside of our kid’s school play, most of us have never given these important Biblical characters a second thought. Yet they were the first to hear the Good News. So what happened to them after that blessed first Christmas? Barry’s novel seeks to answer that thought-provoking question, and in a way that makes all of us appreciate the importance of Christ’s Incarnation and how the seemingly insignificant birth of one baby in an obscure corner of the Roman Empire changed the world forever.
In fact, Barry places the entire Christmas story into historical context in a way that few modern novels on the subject have done. He reminds us that there is a tragic component of the story, too — the Slaughter of the Innocents. This was when the jealous King Herod ordered the murder of all the male babies in Bethlehem in an attempt to kill the Messiah, whom he saw as a rival. In The Shepherds’ Prayer, a young man who had been orphaned in this tragic massacre returns to Bethlehem thirty years later on a quest to discover his name and heritage. Having been raised in a culture where bloodlines mean everything, he seems forever condemned to live as an outsider on the fringes of society until he discovers his true identity. His only clue is a cryptic message on a lambskin blanket about a child born in a stable in Bethlehem. Who is this mysterious child? And what could such a child have to do with his own birth and destiny? Through a providential encounter with a small band of shepherds, the young man comes to realize that his quest has little to do with his genes — and everything to do with his soul.
According to the author, who lives with his family in Centennial, Colorado, the idea for The Shepherds’ Prayer came to him back in the Christmas season of 1997. Barry and his wife had just returned from church and were discussing the story of Christ’s birth and what it meant to the world then and now. The subject turned to the Slaughter of the Innocents, and he began to wonder how that traumatic event must have impacted the people of Bethlehem and their attitudes toward the poor Galilean child who was the target of Herod’s wrath. His research into that subject led him to write this book, which he believes will, in turn, lead the reader on his or her own journey to discover Christ and what it truly means to be a Christian.
Those who have read The Shepherds’ Prayer have already felt its impact on their own lives. One pastor said, “I have never read anything like this. You have taken Biblical stories and prophecies and woven them into a most remarkable and fascinating book.”
Christian commentator, Chuck Colson, based his Christmas Day BreakPoint broadcast on Barry’s book, saying “This imaginative Christmas novel tells the story of an adopted son with a mysterious connection to the Messiah, who seeks the truth about his birth thirty years later. The Shepherds’ Prayer is a story that reminds us of two things. First, we remember that the humble will be lifted up and confound the wisdom of the wise. Secondly, Barry’s novel reminds us of perhaps how we often react to the difficult and painful circumstances in our lives.”
Another reader said that the book helped to put our often facile understanding of the Christmas story into a sharper and more meaningful perspective. “Every Christmas we put out our nativity. We see these sweet shepherds there to adore Jesus, and then we move on in our thoughts. This story helps me to understand that God always asks for suffering to bring about the greatest things in His kingdom. Knowing that the shepherds suffered gives the nativity a passion that I couldn’t see before.”
The book is available as a hardcover book and as a three-CD audiobook. The audio version of the book is narrated by the “golden voice” of John McDonough, an accomplished actor, singer and narrator who has appeared on Broadway, in television and in movies. Mr. McDonough’s superb narration provides an opportunity to listen to The Shepherds’ Prayer while wrapping gifts, on the way to shopping or on family trips to visit relatives.
This is a book that has the potential to become a Christmas classic because it is one of those rare novels that the entire family can enjoy. It focuses our attention on the life-changing power of faith during this special time of the year. Yes, decorating our Christmas trees and waiting for Santa to make his annual sleigh ride are fun traditions. But these things pale in comparison with the profound inspiration drawn from the remarkable story of the humble shepherds who first taught us what Christmas is really all about.
Finally, Mr. Barry has taken this unique marketing approach because he truly believes that this is a story that needs to be told. “The main purpose for writing this book is to expose as many people to the story as possible,” he explains. “It’s a never-before told story about a group of men who, I believe, may be some of the greatest unsung heroes of the Bible. I’d like to raise awareness about what might have happened to them, so turning the book into a radio drama was an easy decision to make. Based on the response we’ve had from Christian radio stations, it’s clear that the story has the effect of bringing one’s thoughts back to Christ and Bethlehem. It looks like the audio drama will be playing on some 1,500 radio outlets this Christmas. My hope is that it will become an annual Christmas event.”
The Shepherds’ Prayer was dramatized for radio by Dave Arnold, executive producer of Adventures in Odyssey, and produced by Todd Busteed, producer and director of the Left Behind dramatic audio series.
Of course, Barry’s hoping that those who hear The Shepherds’ Prayer radio drama will like the story well enough to want to buy copies of the book as Christmas gifts. The book is available in participating Christian bookstores and may be purchased online at ChristmasBook.com or Amazon.com.