Prayer by O. Hallesby — Book Review

I’m not surprised this book is considered a classic, because it is one of the best books on prayer I have ever read. Every reader will find something here to deepen their understanding and practice of prayer. Some of my take-aways are:

*The need to be helpless in prayer. Only when we understand that we cannot change or fix any problem on our own do we become completely reliant upon God.

*The need to understand prayer as the most important work of the church. We would never neglect other responsibilities that we accept, but we are quick to push prayer aside because of lack of time or energy.

*The purpose of prayer is to glorify God.

There are many other helpful insights with chapters on difficulties in prayer, the misuse of prayer, forms of prayer and more.

VERDICT: 5 STARS. An easy, but meaty read. I highly recommend it!

For more posts about prayer see:

Prayer in the Night by Tish Harrison Warren–Book Review

A Praying Church by Paul E. Miller– Book Review

The Lord’s Prayer with commentary by Rick Warren–Book Review

Hey God, Can We Talk by Sarah Bowling–Book Review

I received this book free on my kindle from (if you haven’t signed up, check it out as a source for free and discounted books). I used it as part of my morning devotional time, reading a chapter each day.

In each chapter author Sarah Bowling describes a different prayer technique. Many are well-known — the daily examen, lectio divina. Others are less familiar, but all are biblically based and practical. For example, she suggests reading some of the Psalms of David alongside the events that were transpiring at the time the psalm was written.

Sarah gives examples from her own experience, and in some cases interviews friends to give different perspectives. She emphasizes the two-way aspect of prayer — not just talking to God but also listening. She also encourages sticking with a particular method for a while, but also moving on to try something different if a practice becomes dry, or just doesn’t work for you.

Best of all, there were questions at the end of each chapter that I used for journaling. At the end of the book, there is a short recap of each method.

VERDICT: 5 STARS. I loved it and highly recommend it to anyone who wants to deepen their prayer life

For more about prayer see:

Prayer Disciplines Part 1

Be Thou My Vision by Jonathan Gibson–Book Review

Learning to Pray by James Martin, SJ–Book Review

A Praying Life by Paul E. Miller–Book Review

I’ve read many books about prayer, but I still got some new and interesting ideas from this one. The first is Paul Miller’s recommendation that we write our prayers on index cards, one for each person or category we are praying for. I’m going to try this. It should make it easier to add requests for the same person as things change, and also to remember exactly what my prayers for that person have been recently. He personally includes a Scripture verse that helps him to focus on what he is asking for that particular situation or person.

I could also relate to Miller’s insistence that we view our prayers and indeed, our life, as part of God’s story. Often we are disappointed when we our prayers aren’t answered in the time frame or way that we expect. When this happens, we need to remember that God see the big picture, and what we want may not be what is best for us and others in the long run. We’ll often be able to see God has been at work after time has passed. Suffering, for example, may not be what we want, but may result in a closer relationship with God, greater humility, or stronger faith.

The author also weaves stories from his own life experience into the narrative, with special attention to the challenges of raising his autistic daughter, Kim. This was of special interest to me as there are several autistic children in my own extended family.

VERDICT: 5 STARS. An interesting read with some new perspectives. Completely biblical

For more about prayer see these posts:

Prayer in the Night by Tish Harrison Warren–Book Review

A Father’s Prayer–Book Review

Every Which Way to Pray by Joyce Meyer–Book Review