I read Straight Answers to 21 Honest Questions about Prayer by Charles Simpson, in exchange for honest review from Bethany House. I received a paperback version of the book.
I wanted to review the book because I struggle with my prayer life. I want to pray for the right things, using the right words, at the right time, without being redundant. and never ask me to pray out loud.
The book starting out asking What is prayer? The author talked about how his parents were Faith Missionaries, which meant they had no "visible means of support". The first passage, I highlighted discussed The Rewarder on Page 17. "Hebrews 11:6 tells us that God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him. There are three important words in that phrase: seek, diligently, and reward." Next, the chapter talks about people, who think they have a perfect comprehension of prayer. Prayer requires humility versus self-exaltation.
In the next chapter, the author talks about maturity and prayer. Simpson said how kids may pray for things desired, while adults need to reflect on "who he (God) is and what (God) wants." Simpson also says we need to acknowledge God and his presence.
Simpson provided a story about someone, who came to a prayer session unexpectedly. The stranger started praying as if he was "preaching to Jesus". The prayer was lengthy; and he "seemed to be informing God...of his religious knowledge". God was not in the prayer.
I am one of those folks, who get bored during lengthier prayer. My mind starts to wonder. I used to go to a baptist church in Atlanta. The deacons would pray each Sunday, each taking turns. Some deacons had short prayer and some had longer prayer. Who are they praying for and to? Are they praying to God? Are they praying to be heard? Are they praying for attention? Some was even redundant.
Other things I liked in the book:
- Pray about everything. It helps you develop a relationship with God.
- The power of forgiveness
- Page 60: How does God want me to pray? (Gratitude, Praise, Worship)
- Hearing God when you pray.
I loved the book. Each chapter also ends in discussion questions for thought and reflection. The book is available in paperback and kindle form. The book is also prime-eligible.