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Getting to grips with prayer: Its realities, challenges and potential (Truth for All Time)

By Ian McNaughton
April 2018 | Review by Philip Grist
  • Publisher: DayOne Publications
  • ISBN: 9781846255977
  • Pages: 144
  • Price: £6.00
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Book Review

Through the years I have read many books on prayer, but I don’t recall any having gripped me more than this book. It is a ‘must’ for every preacher and, indeed, the Lord’s people everywhere. It is well written, easy to follow and full of excellent teaching on this vital subject.

The phrase ‘pray(ing) well’ occurs through the book. Prayer is one of the hardest and loveliest exercises in the Christian life. As the author points out, ‘Satan will try to keep you from prayer … he wants to hinder the success of your prayers by encouraging unbelief’. Prayer demands ‘head, heart and hope’ — a phrase used more than once. The simple hymn is so true: ‘I often say my prayers, but do I ever pray? And do the wishes of my heart, go with the words I say?’

One of the book’s great strengths is that it is packed full of biblical references and quotes. Again and again, it comes to the conclusion, ‘This is what the Bible teaches’. The book is divided into two distinct parts and contains 13 chapters. At the end, there are three useful appendices. I personally found the appendix, ‘Prayer and Islam’, most useful.

The believer is encouraged to accept the supreme importance of prayer. There is nothing in the Christian life of greater importance than spending time in the presence of the Redeemer. ‘Prayer is not to be regarded as a “last resort”, but the first resort’.

The author rightly reminds us that the greatest chapter in the Bible is John 17. It reveals to the believer the Saviour in the presence of the Father and is the great prayer for unity amongst God’s people. We are also reminded that Elijah’s praying turned a whole nation back to God. Doesn’t that stir up a thought for the present generation? Read this book. You won’t be disappointed.

Philip Grist

Abingdon

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