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Too Busy Not to Pray Paperback – Deluxe Edition, April 10, 2008

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 198 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Books; 20th Anniversary Edition edition (April 10, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830834753
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830834754
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,187 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"A practical guide." (BTS Booklist,)

"The most helpful book on Prayer that I have read." (The Good BookStall)

"Everyone learns from models, and Bill Hybels not only shows how he prays but also helps us understand prayer. We are busy and we are getting busier! In Too Busy Not to Pray, you'll not only be inspired, but you'll have a guidebook for prayer for the rest of your life!" (Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life)

"You cannot read this book without praying more, and praying better. It is thoughtful, clear, compelling and challenging--Bill at his best!" (John Ortberg, pastor and author, Menlo Park Presbyterian Church)

About the Author

Bill Hybels is founding and senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church in the Chicago suburbs, where over 15,000 attend each weekend. He has written a number of books, including Honest to God, Becoming a Contagious Christian, Making Life Work, Too Busy Not to Pray, Just Walk Across the Room, Holy Discontent, Courageous Leadership and Who You Are When No One's Looking.

More About the Author

Bill Hybels is the founding and senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Ill., and chairman of the board for the Willow Creek Association. The bestselling author of more than twenty books, including Axiom, Holy Discontent, Just Walk Across the Room, The Volunteer Revolution, Courageous Leadership, and classics such as Too Busy Not to Pray and Becoming a Contagious Christian, Hybels is known worldwide as an expert in training Christian leaders to transform individuals and their communities through the local church. Hybels received a bachelor's degree in Biblical Studies and an honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Trinity College in Deerfield, Ill. He and his wife, Lynne, have two adult children and one grandson, Henry.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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This book has changed my life and my prayer life!
This was a very thought-provoking book and has stimulated some great conversations for my small group study!
As with all of Mr. Hybel's books, it was very comforting as well as thought provoking.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Justin L. Pitts on January 31, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book "Too Busy Not To Pray" by Pastor Bill Hybels is a great book that everyone should read. I am a Pastor as well and our Men's Minstry used it for a study. We loved it so much we went through it a 2nd time. It's funny how so many things Pastor Hybels wrote about 20 years ago in the book still ring true today. The tips he gives to help with our prayer life and the insight he passes on to us are spectactular. I would recommend this book to ANYONE.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Andrew A. Hedges on May 15, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
(2nd edition, InterVarsity Press, 1998.)

In his usual relevant, personal style, Bill Hybels promotes a practical look at the discipline of prayer in a believer's life. This is not simply a truth he teaches but one he has personally applied. We can desire his results when he says "the greatest thrill has been the qualitative difference in my relationship with God" (11). We can relate to his struggles when he readily admits that "the real reason my prayers were weak was that my faith was weak" (31). We can begin to follow his journey into a life of prayer by considering his take on re-ordering life - "We just cannot grow with no structure, no sense of intentionality about our spiritual life, any more than we can lower our body fat or develop good muscle tone or increase our net worth by just sitting back and waiting for whatever happens" (44). Too Busy Not to Pray would be a helpful beginning for some while it might be too light for others.

In terms of weaknesses, we can consider the loose biblical support for this look at prayer. As an example, Hybels begins his journey with a very exciting look at the newly rescued Hebrews and their battle with Amalek. Hybels is not alone in his interpretation of this text as one supporting prayer, but many theologians would disagree. In Exodus 17, Moses raises his staff, and Joshua wins. When his arms are lowered, the Hebrews struggle. Two come alongside to hold up Moses' arms and thus the staff to ensure the win for the Hebrews. Nowhere in this text does Moses mouth words of prayer, nor do we see any evidence later of this being an instance of prayer. It is a beautiful picture of God's power and protection ("The LORD is my banner"), but it does not adequately fit a foundational text on prayer.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Angela Hampton on September 19, 2009
Format: Paperback
This was my first experience reading Bill Hybel's work and it won't be my last. While his writing style is not as engaging to me as that of a Max Lucado or Frederick Buechner, I think that Hybel's instruction and guidance made it one of the best Christian books that I've read. It covers many questions that people have about how to pray, as well as, how people can get off track with their understanding of prayer and it's purpose for our lives.

Power Chapter: "In my head I have always believed in God's omnipotence...But too often this belief hasn't registered where it really counts--in my heart (p. 31)." In chapter 3, Hybels shares his findings from studying God's power and omnipotence. He broke it down into "God's Power over Nature," "God's Power over Circumstances," "God's Power over Hearts," and "The Same Yesterday, Today, and Forever." After going into depth about God's power, he closes by reminding us that God, like a good father, doesn't want us to think we have to flog ourselves, begging for hours to get Him to pay attention; instead, God is "listening very closely, hoping" to hear our voices...that God actually takes great pleasure in meeting our needs.

Another strong aspect of Hybel's book is the way he approaches misconceptions in how we think about responding to the Spirit's promptings that come through a more disciplined prayer life. I think this part of the book is especially helpful because it addresses not just how to talk to God, but also how to hear and know better when it is God speaking in our lives. My favorite line in the whole book: "It never fails--in late January or early February when the Midwest goes into the deep freeze, I feel a strange but compelling calling to start a church in Honolulu." Me too, Brother. Me too;).

I highly recommend this book to new believers and those who consider themselves mature in faith but want to develop deeper more powerful prayer lives.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 24, 2012
Format: Paperback
The book is a good reminder of some of the basics of prayer and also serves as a corrective to a prayer life that is non-existent, out of focus, or off-balance. It is also extremely practical and useable. It covers a lot of ground but in this review I want to highlight a few big ideas that were a good reminder to me personally and also, I believe, are representative of some major themes in the book.

In Chapter 6 Hybels lays out a "Pattern for Prayer." This pattern is the now relatively common ACTS pattern and stands for Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication. The purpose of following this pattern is to build balance into prayer life. For most of my life, my prayers have been pretty out of balance - weighted heavily toward the "supplication" (I want something) side of things. I've personally been following ACTS since college and, when I remember to do it, I stay in balance.

Hybels compares prayer to a workout regime. If you go to a gym, he says (and I'll have to take his word for it here), you'll see examples of imbalance; the super strong who can't run around the track and the cardiovascular elite with no upper body strength. Imbalanced prayer can lead to a skewed view of God and inadequate understanding of prayer.

I would also like to highlight Hybels' discussion on following the "leadings" and "tuggings" of the Holy Spirit. Given our extraordinarily subjective and experiential culture I've developed a slightly reactionary attitude toward the role of experience in religious life. So, when Hybels brought out the language of "leadings" and "tuggings" I got a little nervous. I've grown accustomed to associating this language with a turn-off-the-brain mentality or an I-don't-need-the-bible mindset. This isn't what Hybels is talking about.
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