Local author Kate Braestrup will read from and sign copies of her new book “Beginner’s Grace: Bringing Prayer to Life” Thursday, Dec. 30 at 6:30 p.m. at Rockland Public Library, 80 Union St.

Inspired by her work as a chaplain, the New York Times bestselling author of “Here If You Need Me” has written a compelling new book on prayer. In “Beginner’s Grace,” Braestrup explains what prayer is and explores the many ways one can pray. In this new kind of prayer book, made for those who might not pray or even know how, Braestrup includes many examples of prayers to draw from and explains how and why the practice of prayer can open a space in our busy lives for mindfulness, gratitude, contentment and compassion toward others.

As a chaplain to the Maine Warden Service, the agency that polices the state’s roughly 17 million acres of wild land, Braestrup accompanies game wardens to accidents and drownings and on search-and-rescue operations in the Maine woods. A chaplain does not have a leisurely hour in which to explain God, she writes.

“The suffering is right there, and its urgency demands an immediate response. We don’t give a lot of sermons out in the field, or in the woods or streets. Instead, we are called upon to offer the spiritual equivalent of triage. We’re asked to pray,” she said.

And pray she does. Offering clear models and practical suggestions for making one’s own and family prayers meaningful and satisfying, Braestrup offers prayers for situations in which words might fail — times of anxiety, helplessness or grief. “Beginner’s Grace” explains how to tap into grace with prayer, as well as how to pray, when to pray and what to pray.

Written in the honest, personal narrative style of her previous two books, Braestrup explains the many ways one can pray. She offers suggestions for making prayers more meaningful and satisfying; and she invites readers to explore forms of prayer that extend into the wider community including prayer for those whom we do not like and with whom we may disagree. Written with the insight and warmth that moved and inspired readers of “Here If You Need Me,” “Beginner’s Grace” is sure to become a spiritual touchstone for people of all faiths.

Braestrup serves as a chaplain to the Maine Warden Service. In addition to her latest book, she is the author of two memoirs, “Here If You Need Me,” a New York Times bestseller, and “Marriage and Other Acts of Charity”; and a novel, “Onion.” Her essays have appeared in The New York Times; The Boston Globe; O, The Oprah Magazine; and Good Housekeeping, among many other publications. She lives in Lincolnville with her husband, artist Simon van der Ven, and their six children.

Books will be available for sale, courtesy of The Reading Corner. Special accommodations for persons with disabilities can be made with 48 hours notice by calling 594-0310. This evening is one in a continuing Thursday evening series of literary, film and musical offerings sponsored by the library and Friends of the Rockland Public Library. Admission is free.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail to dernest@villagesoup.com.