What We Most Need to Know About Prayer.
That’s the focus of this Sunday. And I want to begin a little differently. I want to begin with you.
We are completing our first week of 5/on/5, a prayer experience that helps us love others well through prayer, by being present to God on their behalf. Would you be willing to share anything you might be learning from your experience? You will have an opportunity to say something about your experience at the beginning of the sermon time. Some of you have sent me great emails about what is happening as you pray. Everyone would benefit from hearing from you.
This morning I felt really tired and distracted, pretty sure that no one was going to be loved well through my prayers. But, you know what, as I began to think and pray about people on my list, I woke up, and I became engaged in imagining God’s love in their lives.
Plus, this week I have seen some pretty remarkable movement in some of these relationships. I will say more on Sunday about it. But, for example, someone for whom I am praying called me this week, out of the blue. As long as I’ve known them that has never happened. Twilight Zone music began to play in my head when I finally figured out who it was on the phone. They had to identify themselves three times before I got it.
So, let’s encourage each other with some ‘God-sightings’ this Sunday.
On the topic of prayer, below are some books that have helped me pray.
Too Busy Not to Pray, Bill Hybells. Very practical. If you have never read a book about prayer, this would be a good start.
The Praying Life, Paul Miller. A new book that I’m reading now. He has a great understanding of what we bring to the experience.
The Way of the Heart, Henri Nouwen. I’ve read this small book twice, and even though it is directed to ministry students, it is very helpful on some classic components on prayer. When my son, Jon read it, he said, “Where have these truths been all my life?”
A Testament of Devotion, Thomas R. Kelly. This book was so different about prayer that I’ve read it twice, as well. It helped me to see instantly how un-spiritual I am, not in a condemning way. But his example of prayer made me want to grow.
Prayer, Ole Hallesby. This is a classic, often quoted, inspiring and practical.
Prayer, Richard Foster. This is a modern classic that draws on the best sources and experiences. I treat this more like a reference book, nothing you should zip through quickly.
With Christ in the School of Prayer, Andrew Murray. Another classic, worth reading just to hang out with Andrew Murray, and catch his spiritual vibe.
Prayer, Phillip Yancey. I have not read this book, but I know that it is good. Yancey is one of the most honest, real, non-stuffy guys you can read. He writes for real human beings.
Wow, I should be incredibly spiritual from having read all of these books (except Yancey), but there is still no substitute for actually praying.
Do you have books that you would recommend?
Let’s help each other grow.