This short book took a different approach to a lot of prayer books I’ve read. It focuses on the “whatever you ask” passages in the Bible that Jesus promises to answer. By providing specific examples from his own ministry Pruett was able to demonstrate how his prayer life developed over the years where increasingly he was able to relate answers to specific prayers he and his team had prayed.
Pruett introduced me to a new prayer acronym: ACTIVE, that is an extension to one many of us know: ACTS. It stands for:
V anquishing Satan
E xtreme Prayer
In outlining the elements of “Extreme Prayer” with practical examples, both Biblical and from his own experience, Pruett demonstrates prayer’s power. He suggests too many of us impose our own strategies to achieving certain outcomes and minimise prayer when venturing out. As prayer is a dialogue with God if we walk through our days with unceasing prayer we are far more likely to produce God-inspired outcomes.
I particularly appreciated Pruett’s emphasis on the power of unity in community (‘when two or three are gathered…”), specificity of our prayers and actively listening with pen in hand.
Highly recommended. This book gets you praying with added fervour and specificity.Read More
This is short at 96 pages and is written in three sections, all of which are easy to read. But there is such powerful insight in the words Nouwen uses.
I can read his work every day as there is such wonderful clarity around the understanding of the human condition plus he writes in this wonderfully melodic style that is non-judgemental and peaceful.
The book starts with identifying busyness as a key enemy to a spiritual life. However, he highlights the fact that busyness doesn’t necessarily lead to fulfilment. He then leads us into outlining the importance of the two disciplines: solitude and community. And it is in these two disciplines where a true spiritual life begins.
I particularly appreciate how he emphasises that prayer is about entering into God’s presence so we can understand His purposes. God is always talking so it is only in solitude that we are able to hear God outline His plans and purposes. Jesus was an active listener and Nouwen encourages us to develop the same habit.
Highly recommended.Read More
This is a series of 40 separate devotionals on focused on the power of prayer. Each chapter is only 4-5 pages in length so can be read quite quickly. However, most of the chapters have much to chew on and so I found myself meditating on many of the chapters throughout the day.
I believe Mark Batterson wants to encourage us to pray more and believe, trusting that God is indeed faithful. Each devotional contains a short story, Biblical references and many wonderful soundbites that are useful for journalling. The chapters don’t really build on each other rather address a separate aspect of prayer.
The final devotional is a beauty about the fact the only way to get better at prayer is to keep doing it. It’s not meant to easy, just like learning a new language, but there are fruits to be experienced every time we surrender to the Father in prayer.
This is incredibly encouraging and has helped stimulate my prayer life.
Highly recommended.Read More