It might seem a very strange title, but for those who have glimpsed something of the awesome holiness of our God and tasted something of his goodness, the possibility that we can indeed talk to this God as our Father is utterly amazing. Eric Onyango reviews You Can Pray by Tim Chester.
You can be easily encouraged to spend a good amount of time listening to conversations, chats, sermons, music or watch a movie. However, there is one ‘simple’ term that most Christians seem to struggle with: Prayer. Possibly, one of the less enjoyed subjects by many believers. In the postmodern world today you might find yourself busy looking for ways to pray that ‘work best for you.’ In this case, maybe you are wanting to ‘revamp your prayer life’ and remain ‘close to God.’ This same mindset might also lead us to want to make prayer easy and suitable for everyone who claims to be a child of God. Tim Chester’s book You Can Pray avoids this man-centered, ‘tips and techniques’ approach and takes you back to the Bible where you are reminded that prayer is God’s work and for God’s glory.
So, while his ideas and flow of thoughts in this book might disappoint Christians who are accustomed to principles and methodologies, for believers who want to go to the Bible and hear God’s perspective on prayer, Tim Chester’s You Can Pray is a short, enjoyable and practical book that graciously shows you a simple way to pray. Tim Chester maintains simplicity in his discussion of the possibility of prayer and its significant role: Glorifying God.
Dividing his book into three parts, Tim Chester seeks to explain the secret of great praying which is not found in human effort or skills, but rather in knowing God. He vividly explains that we will enjoy and pray a great prayer when we know how we pray, why we pray and what we pray. He goes ahead to explain that your prayers are not considered effective by God because of your morality, spirituality, length of prayer, Bible knowledge or style of praying. However, you pray good prayers because Christ is forever good. It is through Christ and what He did at the Cross that prayer becomes possible and enjoyable.
Prayer is not just a matter of ticking the spiritual discipline box every day as if fulfilling a tiresome duty; it begins by acknowledging God as ‘My Father’ (when praying individually) and as ‘Our Father’ (while making corporate prayers). God is your Father and you should desire to keep intimacy with him through prayers.
This is a book that I would want to read again and again. Tim Chester has provided the reader with classic examples of praying using Bible passages, both from Old Testament and New Testament at the end of each chapter.
Are you a new believer and don’t know how to pray? Are you a believer and doubting whether your prayers are being heard by God whenever you pray? I recommend this book to you. I hope pastors in churches, families, youths and Christian Union members will encourage one another to find time and read Tim Chester’s book, You Can Pray.
Prayer is easy. Jesus did all the hard work on the Cross.
[You Can Pray is available in the UK from our friends at The Good Book Company (in paper or e-copy) and in Kenya from our friends at ACTS Bookshop.]