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I have more than a dozen books on prayer on my bookshelf. Some I’ve read, some are on my someday list, some are devotionals. All are a challenge to me, just by being on my shelf (eye-level!). Every time I look at that shelf, I subconsciously – and sometimes consciously – ask myself how my prayer life is going. I don’t always like the answer, but at least I’m honest with myself.
I think, as believers in the Western world, that most of us would say we pray, but perhaps it feels as if something is missing from our prayer lives. A connection that we used to have. A commitment we can’t quite hang on to. An earnestness that we long for. At least, that’s how I feel frequently – hence the books on prayer! I’m always looking for one more challenge, encouragement, even – dare I say it? – trick, to make my prayer life more.
More like Jesus’ prayer life. More like Hudson Taylor’s prayer life. More like George Mueller’s prayer life. Just more like it should be.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my prayer life. I have earnest, honest, sometimes tearful, and sometimes singing-out-loud joyful prayers. But I always want more. I think that’s normal. Because we were not made for this world. We were made for intimate fellowship with the Father that we cannot find on this side of eternity. So, we long for more in our prayer lives.
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The first book I ever read on prayer was The Kneeling Christian – a classic that, although I don’t remember exactly what it said, challenged, and encouraged me at that time. It’s on my ‘someday’ list; I think I’d benefit from reading it again. Any book about prayer that causes me to pray more – and it did – is a winner in my eyes.
The Circle Maker, by Mark Batterson, is another such book. His theme: bold prayers honor God and God honors bold prayers. God is honored by our bold prayers because it shows we believe, truly believe that He can and will answer. God honors bold prayers because, when He answers, He is glorified.
Need some encouragement to pick up this book? Here are a few random quotes:
- The greatest tragedy in life is the prayers that go unanswered because they go unasked.
- The more faith you have, the more specific your prayers will be… and the more glory God receives.
- It’s always too soon to quit praying.
- There are higher heights and deeper depths in prayer and God wants to take you there.
What books have changed your prayer life for the better? I’d love to hear your recommendations!