on 10 January 2015
You may well think "not another book on prayer". The fact there are so many shows how we all struggle to pray. Sadly for many of us it is the hardest part of the Christian life. In fact, Francis Schaeffer frequently challenged his readers and listeners with the question "What would you do differently if one morning if you work up and all the references to prayer and the Holy Spirit had been removed from the bible?". In other words do we as Christians rely on prayer and the Holy Spirit as we are told to do, or are we living in a way that excludes Gods power to supernaturally intervene in response to His children's prayers? This excellent, practical and readable book by the popular writer, Tim Chester, tackles the topic head on. Chester points out that "its a mistake to focus on prayer itself as if prayer was some kind of skill to be acquired...prayer is rather a child asking his father for help". He walks through the ways in which the Triune God helps us - the Father loves to hear us pray, the Son makes each prayer acceptable and pleasing to the Father and the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. Chester then moves on to tackle very practically the main obstacles to prayer - if like me you have a grasshopper mind you will find this section particularly useful! Finally, he writes as to how we should pray, taking as his pattern the Lords Prayer. As we have to start somewhere in prayer, we must start he argues logically with our relationship with the Triune God - "Our Father" and his glory before moving on to pray for our own needs. If there was one thought that struck me it is a quote from Bunyan which Tim Chester expands "O how great a task it is for a poor soul that becomes sensible of sin and the wrath of God to say in faith but this one word 'Father'....hence it is that the Spirit must be sent into the hearts of Gods people for this very thing, to cry Abba Father". The best book on prayer that I have read.