Peter Muturi reviews a new book on prayer that doesn’t whip us with guilt or whip us up with false expectations but actually calls us to enjoy a relationship…
In this small book (only 48 pages) Michael Reeves identifies with the many Christians who struggle with prayer. Nevertheless, he expounds the need to work on this very intrinsic part of the Christian life by adopting John Calvin’s definition of prayer as
“the chief exercise of faith.”
Michael Reeves uses this small map to take us through a journey of 14 chapters from a people who view prayer as just one of the norms of religion to the gold mine that is enjoying ones prayer life and viewing it as the epitome of Christian living.
In chapter 4, Michael Reeves helps his readers to understand why we all seem to fail when it comes to prayer. The answer is that we are all sinners and therefore naturally awful at prayer. By picking the story of Martin Luther, a renowned preacher and prayer hero, Reeves shows how even heroes of the faith struggle with this practice of prayer. At the bottom line Luther notes that lack of serious commitment in prayer results from yielding to the temptations of the flesh.
From chapter 5, Reeves brings out the role of the Trinity and the Word in enhancing ones prayer life. As an act of faith, Reeves identifies that prayer can only spring from the Word of God and thereby a believer will have to hear God’s Word more, to believe more and even to be more prayerful. Christ is the perfect example of a prayer warrior, if we have to become prayerful we have to learn to pray like Him and thereby enjoy what He has always enjoyed with the Father, Reeves states. Hence just like Christ we learn to pray to God as our Father, commune with Him frequently and depend on Him at all times.
In the last section of his book, Reeves reminds us of the role of the Holy Spirit as the one who help us in prayer to become like Christ and enjoy God’s fellowship as we pray. Having shown his readers the problem of prayer and carefully leading them through the path of leading prayerful lives, Reeves calls his readers to exercise faith and pray.
Right from the very beginning readers can identify with the case at hand and I personally have learnt a lot as regards handling prayerlessness. Particularly, to appreciate that I am not praying as much as I should and that even in this I need the help of the Trinity, not only to start praying but even to keep the flame on and pray at all times as the Word requires of me (1 Thess 5 :17 ). Therefore, I would recommend this book to all Christians; to those who know they have a problem with prayer and even to the so called prayer warriors.