I’m Reading: How to Pray

How to Pray

By R.A. Torrey

htp“The intelligent child of God must be driven to say, ‘I must pray, pray, pray. I must put all my energy and all my heart into prayer. Whatever else I do, I must pray.'” Stunning and forthright, R.A. Torrey’s “little book on prayer” is a reflection of the writer who once had it said about him, “One wonders if there has ever lived a man who did so many things well for Christ.” Torrey succinctly deals with the key elements of life-changing prayer, such as praying in the Spirit, abiding in Christ, obstacles to prayer, the best times to pray, seeking revival through prayer, and more. Torrey outlines a practical strategy for living life in conversation with God.

In a sense, I’m torn. If Christians (including yours truly) were to wholeheartedly adopt Torrey’s approach, I don’t doubt that our prayer lives would be revolutionized. On the other hand, I wonder if the author has grappled sufficiently with the mystery of unanswered prayer. There’s a danger here that readers might get the impression that the problem is with them or their faith (or lack of same), when it is simply normal Christian experience sometimes to not get the answers we expect or want. Still, despite this risk, I highly recommend How to Pray to anyone who wants to get more serious about praying to the God who hears … and answers.

About Stan Guthrie

Stan Guthrie is an editor at large for Christianity Today magazine and for the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview. His latest book is God's Story in 66 Verses. He also is author of All that Jesus Asks: How His Questions Can Teach and Transform Us, Missions in the Third Millennium: 21 Key Trends for the 21st Century, and A Concise Guide to Bible Prophecy. He is co-author of The Sacrament of Evangelism. Besides authoring, writing, and editing books, Stan is a literary agent, bringing together good authors, good books, and good publishers. Stan writes the monthly Priorities colum for BreakPoint.org. He has appeared on National Public Radio's €œTell Me More,€ WGN's Milt Rosenberg program, and many Christian shows, including The Eric Metaxas Show and Moody Radio'€™s €œNew Day Florida.€ A licensed minister and an inspirational speaker, he served as moderator for the Christian Book Expo panel discussion, Does the God of Christianity Exist, and What Difference Does It Make?
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