A Year of Prayer: My Top 12 Books on Prayer
Prayer is oxygen to a believer’s soul.
Do you agree?
The more we learn and experience prayer – the more deeply we can connect with God and see our ordinary moments transform into something extraordinary.
While writing Simple Prayer:The Guide for Ordinary People Seeking the Extraordinary I read a lot of books on prayer and surveyed people on their favourite books on prayer.
Here is a resulting list of The Top 12 Books on Prayer.
One for each month.
What about spending a year on prayer? – the next 12 months – learning how to connect with God more deeply through a prayer-filled lifestyle.
1.The Power of a Praying series by Stormie Omartian
Stormie Omartian is the queen of prayer books. The Power of a Praying Wife was given to me by my mother as a wedding gift. It can be hard to know how to pray for our husbands but Stormie gives us many practical ways to pray for our husbands. I loved how Stormie backed her comments up with scripture. There is something very powerful when we pray the Word over our loved ones. There are 30 topical chapters – perfect for praying through one chapter per day for a month …then repeat. The Power of a Praying Parent is an ideal book to give to as a baby shower present. It is filled with useful practical prayer ideas backed with scripture.
If you have ever desired a breakthrough in your life then this a book worth reading. It will encourage your soul to keep going, keep believing and keep praying. His chapter on A Break-Through Word starts out …”Finding new power in prayer always means developing a new relationship with the Word of God, because God’s Word provides the right foundation for a life of asking and receiving. ” Yes, I agree when we combine God’s Word (which is really what God’s will or desires) with faith and prayer – nothing will be impossible.
3. Hearing God’s Voice by Henry & Richard Blackaby
Praying is much more than a list of requests and a morning devotion. It’s a two way communicating lifestyle between you and your Heavenly Father. Hearing God’s Voice clearly answers the question – Does God speak to people today? and if yes – how does He do that? It is a very practical book filled with real life examples.
Do you feel like you are trapped in an area of your life and you have no idea how to break free? This book is a guide which addresses 14 common strongholds and gives practical scriptural help to overcome them. It addresses – insecurity, feelings of rejection, addiction, food related strongholds, despair from loss and depression just to name a few. Not all chapters will apply to your life but the book can be a handy reference guide for the future.
5. Problems, God’s Presence, and Prayer: Experience the Joy of a Successful Christian Life by Michael Wells
This short book lifted me out of post-natal depression while I was mothering my three young sons in 2001- 2002. There are those books out there that are just what you need at a particular time – a turning point in your life – this was one of them. It caused my relationship with God to deepen with a new understanding of problems. What jumped off the page was the truth that “there is nothing easier for us to obtain than the moment-by-moment presence and joy of Jesus Christ.”
6. The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence
I mention this classic book in my book on prayer – Simple Prayer. Here is a quote from my book:
“One book that is a must read for anyone wanting to develop a lifestyle rhythm of intentional prayer is The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence. A French monk in the 1600’s, Brother Lawrence worked in the monastery’s kitchen as a cook despite being lame and in pain from a war injury. Even though he had a low position he was highly regarded because of his personal relationship with God. After his death, his conversations and letters were recorded and his book was published. You can find it for free on the Internet, including as a free audio and be encouraged in your prayer journey.
In his book, Brother Lawrence explains how to start the practice of the presence of God in his first conversation with Mr. de Beaufort: “That in order to form a habit of conversing with God continually, and referring all we do to Him; we must at first apply to Him with some diligence: but that after a little care we should find His love inwardly excite us to it without any difficulty.” In modern English, a praying lifestyle starts with us forming a habit, intentionally, of consulting with God in everything we do in our day. This habit needs to be practiced just like any new habit. If I want to lose weight I have to introduce some new habits, like tracking my daily calories. This needs to be done on a consistent basis until it becomes a natural activity like brushing your teeth. Once this habit of talking with God about everything and anything is happening on a daily basis it becomes second nature, and we find we are experiencing His presence without effort.”
7. The Circle Maker: Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears by Mark Batterson
This is an interesting read based on the legend of a Honi the Circle Maker who draw a circle in the sand and did not step outside it until God answered his impossible prayer for his people. Mark Batterson shares many stories of answered prayer that inspired me to take my dreams to God. I agree with this statement from his book – “We shouldn’t seek answers as much as we should seek God. If you seek answers you won’t find them, but if you seek God, the answers will find you.” I am a big believer combining goal setting and prayer (I wrote a whole chapter on how to pray your personal growth in my book Simple Prayer) – regarding this Batterson writes – “It’s not just where you end up that’s important; it’s how you get there. Goal setting begins and ends with prayer.”
8. Prayer: Does it Make Any Difference? by Philip Yancey
This has become a modern classic book on prayer. He tries to answer a number of common questions on prayer – What is prayer? What difference does it make? What and how should we pray? What about unanswered prayer? How should we understand prayer for physical healing?. It’s not for the faint-hearted as it is quite a long read but there are good nuggets in it. He talks about our modern Christianity where prayer is more of a transaction than a relationship – a duty rather than a joy. Yes, I have been guilt of that. He says an astonishing thing – “We learn to pray by praying”. Yes, I thought to myself – how simple – why do we make prayer so complicated! The clincher quote – “God is already present in my life and all around me; prayer offers the change to attend and respond to that presence.”
9. Prayers of a God Chaser by Tommy Tenney
Tommy Tenney’s books are always refreshing like a cool drink of sparkling water on a hot day and this one is no exception. This book is for the desperate – those who are desperate for more of God. He sets out 12 different types of prayer that he has encountered in his prayer life along with corresponding scriptures. It’s a book to inspire you towards worship rather than listing requests. It’s a quick encouraging read.
10. The Complete Works of E.M. Bounds on Prayer: Experience the Wonders of God Through Prayer
This is not for the faint hearted. Eight books in one! E. M . Bounds is one of the most powerful writer on prayer. He was called to Christian ministry during the Third Great Awakening in the mid 1800’s. People say that he had a heart for people to know God and would pray for them with tears running down his face. At the top of his to-do list was prayer – every morning. If you don’t want to tackle this eight-in-one book – google E.M.Bounds and read his separate books online for free.
11. Praying the Names of God by Ann Spangler
I love studying the Hebrew names of God and Ann Spangler is an expert in helping western believers understand the Biblical Hebrew mindset. I highly recommend her books that she wrote with Lois Tverberg – Sitting at the feet of Rabbi Jesus. When I did my own personal study of the first 7 names for God in the Scriptures – it revolutionized my prayer life, automatically. I found myself using the Hebrew names for God (that He revealed to us through the Word) in my prayers. It helped me to express my praise and worship.
Yes, this is my book. This is a call to Simple Prayer. It’s for those of us who desire a simple lifestyle of communicating with God. I share on my discovery of ‘seeing’ God in the ordinariness of our daily lives. It’s a practical guide on how to create your own Personal Prayer Growth Plan. The book also covers three types of Prayer Languages – asking, thanking and guidance along with examples and scriptures. My prayer for you is to start seeing God as your Heavenly Father and experience Simple Prayer – like children coming to their daddy for help, to give and receive love and to ask for advice. My desire it that ordinary people who simply pray may experience God turning up, in all His glory, fashioning the ordinary details of their lives into something extraordinary.
What books on prayer has inspired and encouraged you? please leave comments below
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