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Why Pray?: 40 Days--From Words to Relationship Hardcover – February, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

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"You hold in your hands a small book that has the potential to revolutionize your prayer life!  Yes, I know that countless volumes, some of them large, have been written on prayer, but this book is unique. First, it is practical. John DeVries does not answer all of our theological questions about prayer, but he is interested in helping us take seriously the exercise of faithful intercession. Second, this book stresses what we need to hear: the purpose of prayer is not so much to get answers from the Almighty as it is to have fellowship with the Almighty!  Third, the power of this book is demonstrated by the lifestyle and experience of its author. I was impressed by his simple commitment to prayer and how he was assured that God would respond.  And when I learned more about his missionary work in India, I realized that he was speaking about prayer from his own life and ministry. More recently, I had the priviledge of being with John at a Bible conference and hearing of the great advance of the Gospel through Mission India, founded by John. Once again, I was led to marvel at God's goodness in answering prayer as churches are being established throughout the land. Don't read this book in one setting; better to read a few pages and practice what you've read.  Remember, "Prayer Changes Things."

Erwin Lutzer, Moody Church Chicago --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Dr. John DeVries is a pastor and the founder of two ministries:, Project Philip-a domestic discipleship and Bible distribution ministry, and Mission India-the largest and fastest growing missionary enterprise today in the nation of India. DeVries is the author of many books and Bible study materials that have been used around the world. He has actively trained church planters and pastors in many different countries and has initiated prayer movements in India's 28 states. John and his wife Atts live in Grand Rapids, Michigan. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 255 pages
  • Publisher: Honor Books (February 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1562922785
  • ISBN-13: 978-1562922788
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 4.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #260,956 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Gunia VINE VOICE on May 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover
"Why Pray?" is an influential book on prayer by missionary and church leader John DeVries. Formerly titled, "Does it Pay to Pray?" DeVries argues that prayer is not intended to "get something out of God"--as if it were a divine way of getting something out of a heavenly vending machine--but rather the primary purpose of prayer is to build your relationship with God. Yet, even as your relationship with God is built, prayer is a privilege by which you may draw God's attention to particular issues, problems, and concerns with the hope that God would cast the bright beams of his light upon your various concerns.

The book is structured as a 40-day devotional, with each week focusing on a particular dimension of prayer. Week 1 is entitled "Why Pray?" Week 2 is entitled "Why Pray First?" Week 3 is entitled "Why Pray for Neighbors?" Week 4 is entitled "How Should We Pray?" Week 5 is entitled "Three Foundations and Three Functions of a Home of Prayer." The book ends with en epilogue entitled, "Building a Home Of Prayer Everday" (H.O.P.E. is an acronym used frequently by DeVries).

The original material in this devotional book, Weeks 1-3, are insightful and inspirational chapters. DeVries captures the reader's imagination and presents Biblical teachings and directives in a way that makes the reader eagerly look forward to prayer. From Week 4, the quality of the book begins to suffer as the depth of thought, devotional value, and beauty of the prose deteriorates; this second half appears forced and doesn't naturally follow the first three weeks.

Evaluating the book from a theological perspective is challenging for this reader. First, the forward states that "Why Pray?
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Richard Shaw on February 6, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is full of practical everyday information on why do we pray?
It really isn't to get things from God. At least it shouldn't be!
I bought my first copy of this book from a closeout sale of a Christian Book Store that went out of business. I was in a low spot in my spiritual life and I had the same question, "Why Pray?"
This book was nothing like I had in mind! It took me from the doldrums to a much higher relationship with Almighty God.
This book is an easy read, no big fancy words, just plain simple language and straight forward information.
The chapters are short and it is intended to be read one chapter daily for 40 days.
It is great for the newly saved person and also for the more mature Christian. I highly recommend this book for anyone wanting a closer relationship with God!
My wife and I have since bought over 20 coies of the book and she is teaching a class at church on "Why Pray?"
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By pi_libros on March 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
We loved this little book! 40 day devotional that focused our prayer life as a family like never before. Mr. DeVries explains what prayer is, what it's for, the power it holds, and the blessing it gives. We read it as a family in the evenings. It was engaging for everyone (age 8 to aged!). The stories and applications that Mr. DeVries tells at each point are apt and beautiful examples of God's love, power, and calling for each of us. Many nights we laughed, and most nights we were awed by God and convicted to seek change in ourselves. The difference between this and other books on prayer and possibly my favorite point is that the author also provides practical (and simple) steps to put these new lessons to action!

Note: This is the first time that I have taken the time to sit down and write and book recommendation--ever! That's how pumped my family is about this book! I've just ordered a dozen to give to others.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S. Johnson on March 1, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Disclosure: I have known John, personally, for several years.

I've really enjoyed this book and have been using it as a daily devotional. It is broken into 40 "days" with each day a short read followed by a "Discussion" question and a "Meditation" topic related to that day's segment.

The days are combined into 5 weeks and a 5-day epilogue. The 5 weeks and epilogue are themed: Week One--Why Pray?, Week Two--Why Pray First?, Week Three--Why Pray for Neighbors?, Week Four--How Should We Pray?, Week Five--Three Foundations and Three Functions of a Home of Prayer, and the Epilogue--Building a Home of Prayer Every Day.

This book would be an excellent choice for anyone interested in the topic of prayer, especially those that are looking to improve their prayer-life. New Christians and long-time believers will find something of interest and something thought-provoking as they make their way through the book.

The book is filled with personal examples and stories about the impact prayer can have in the world. Wonderful stories, like the one on "Day 2" about Andrew riding on the tractor with Poppa Dystra, help to bring home the point.

I highly recommend this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Peggy Hill on April 21, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
John DeVries "tells it like it is". The most important step is the first step--the step of prayer. From page 68, We accomplish very little because we are out of step with Jesus. We often run the church like a corporation, with planning meetings, goals, and objectives: and when we have it all figured out, we bless it with a "word of prayer" asking God to give us success. I would recommend this book to anyone involved in any kind of Christian ministry and individuals who want to grow spiritually.
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