Prayer Moves Mountains John Williams. Paperback, 110 pp, Published by Guardian Books, Ontario, Canada. ISBN 978 1 55452 339 9.
The sub-title of this book is ‘Jesus’ Teaching on Prayer’, and the publisher’s note describes this work as ‘an easy-to-understand exposition of Jesus’ teaching’ on this subject, which ‘challenges us “to practise the presence” in all of life’s circumstances, and to enjoy the blessings of listening and talking to God’.
In accordance with the sub-title, the author takes his reader through those passages in the Gospels which record the Lord’s teaching on prayer and those which record His own prayers. Gently and carefully he draws out the lessons from each passage of scripture. The work is leavened with apposite quotations from other writers, as well as with verses from hymns. There is also advice on how to structure prayer life. At first glance it would be easy to see this book as being aimed primarily at young believers (the book is dedicated to the author’s grandchildren), but that would be to misunderstand the author’s purpose. Quotations from scripture and questions appended to chapters 1-10 will encourage all readers to venture more deeply into this vital subject. Quotations are mainly from the NIV. Care is required with these; for example, at page 97, Mark chapter 9 verses 28-29 is quoted from that version, which, in spite of considerable manuscript support, has chosen to omit ‘fasting’.
The virtue of this book is that it has gathered together in relatively small compass the Lord’s teaching and example on the subject of prayer. But the whole emphasis of this work is not so much to teach about prayer as to encourage the reader to do it, addressing the need for preparation and discipline in this regard. After all, practising prayer is the important thing. Perhaps the disciples realized this when they said, ‘Lord, teach us to pray’.
[Our thanks to Ed Hotchin, Hucknall, Nottingham, England, for this review]
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