Prayer can be frustrating, confusing, and fraught with mystery. I probe such questions as: Is God listening? Why should God care about me? If God knows everything, what’s the point of prayer? How can I make prayer more satisfying? Why do so many prayers go unanswered? Do prayers for healing really matter? Does prayer change God? I began with a list of such questions, then I studied all 650 prayers in the Bible and interviewed scores of people about their own experiences with prayer. The process of writing caused a revolution in my own conception and practice of prayer. I now see it not so much as a way of getting God to do my will as a way of being available to get in the stream of what God wants to accomplish on earth.
“I have never read a book on prayer that touched me so deeply. I believe that a hundred years from now people will be reading this book.”
Brennan Manning, author of The Ragamuffin Gospel and Abba’s Child
“Yancey strikes a moving chord with this book that is more full of yearning and wonder than it is of easy answers. Prayer, he writes, is our partnership with God, our chance to join forces with God’s power to confront suffering and evil head-on. Yancey is candid about his nagging sense of failure in prayer, but the book is suffused with a cautious hope; he writes of his growing confidence and joy as his prayer life has deepened from a spiritualized to-do list to a conversational communion with God. The key, Yancey writes, is that prayer is a window into knowing the mind of God, whose kingdom is entrusted to all of us frail, selfish people on earth. As with his other books, Yancey draws upon his international travels to bring a fresh perspective to the topic, detailing, in nations such as Romania and South Africa, how he believes prayer has transformed hearts and permitted bloodless change. The book’s strength lies in its balance, with Yancey holding equally important ideals in a beautiful tension: action and meditation, doubt and certainty, and the unchanging God with the God who appears so moved by people’s petitions in the Bible that he changes his mind. Yancey also offers some startling and insightful observations about Jesus’ own prayer life.”
Publishers Weekly (Oct., 2006) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
“…the experience of reading ‘Prayer’ is similar to the experience of prayer itself: a meandering journey with streaks of brillance, communion, illumination, and satisfaction….’Prayer’ is a reader-friendly book, peppered with vignettes and sidebars from people attesting to the power of prayer….[It] is subtle, elusive, and evanescent, inviting readers to discern their own meaning….’Prayer’ can help reinvigorate a prayer life. It invites us to believe that God is listening.”
The Plain Dealer
Best Religion Book Award Winner, Publishers Weekly, US, 2006