Praying: Finding Our Way Through Duty to Delight

J. I. Packer, Author, Carolyn Nystrom, Author . InterVarsity $18 (319p) ISBN 978-0-8308-3345-0

Easy is never the word that fits real praying," say evangelical Christian heavyweight Packer and Nystrom, a freelance writer who has penned more than 70 books and Bible study guides. Packer's series of talks on prayer combined with Nystrom's transcription and input blend to create this definitive work that will deepen readers' understanding of a difficult subject. Both authors admit struggles with prayer, which makes their words even more reassuring for Christians who rarely confess to similar wrestlings. The book covers all aspects of prayer: the God we pray to, meditation (what Packer calls "brooding"), prayer checkups, petitions and even corporate prayer. The pair also discuss fundamental questions: why must we praise God? and can we really complain to God? Readers shouldn't expect an easy, breezy read from Packer. Nystrom works to keep Packer's original voice strong, which means deep thinking, even deeper explanations and sentences of some length. His love of history is evident through his many references to C.S. Lewis and church fathers such as Luther and Augustine. The work of reading this book pays off in a much more thorough understanding of prayer, its hindrances and its joys. Study questions for each chapter encourage personal reflection and broader understanding. (July)

Reviewed on: 05/29/2006
Release date: 07/01/2006
Paperback - 319 pages - 978-0-8308-3354-2
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