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Ordinary Prayer: Encountering God Through Our Everyday Needs Paperback – January 24, 2013
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The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
About the Author
Jeremy Rios was raised in the American Midwest. He studied Greek and Latin at Wheaton College and has a Master's of Divinity from Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia. Since 2008 he has served as pastor of New Hope Alliance Church in Surrey, BC.
Top customer reviews
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1. The center of prayer is petition.
2.Petition is difficult.
From there he offers a guide to, you guessed it, ordinary prayer. Petitionary prayer practiced daily over all of our needs, small to large, common and repeated or unique. His goal, his prayer, is that "as you read you will be led to put the book down and begin praying."
What follows is a guide to understanding prayer, how to pray, how to understand God's answers, how to pray in groups, and more. And by guide I do not mean exhaustive step-by-step instruction manual. "Ordinary Prayer" and Rios, as the author, is more like a wilderness guide. He won't carry you up the mountain, but he will tell you which paths are fruitful, which rocks are firm, and point you to the views along the way. In other words Rios is not out to be prescriptive, nor to answer all of our questions, but to enable us to pray. In this he succeeds.
This is an excellent book. It is, in fact, one of the best books on prayer I have ever read. Helpful, surprisingly insightful, applicable in ways far broader than the subject of petitionary prayer, this book is worth reading several times. And I'm not just saying that because I know the author. Rather, that last sentence was included as a subtle way of giving you, the reader of this review, full disclosure; Jeremy did not pay for or even ask for this review, but he is my friend. The book has been published for some time now; he just had the bad luck to publish it right as I stopped reviewing books. Now that I might start again, I thought I should start with something great.
Conclusion: 5 Stars. Highly Recommended. Pray. Then read this book. Then pray more.
"Anxiety betrays the desperate neediness of the human heart for control; yet ironically the
more control we attempt, the greater our anxiety will be. This is because the control we need
is not our own, but God's, and as pangs of hunger tell us we need food, anxiety tells us that
we need God."
"What is more, to ask God for help with our needs is to acknowledge that He has what we lack."
"Our prayers are powerless because in them we are seeking to use our power to
leverage God to do our will, rather than submit to God's power so that we can
learn His will."
As a reader, my favorite part is Jeremy's commentary on the prayers in the book of Ephesians.
Pastor Jeremy rightly sees the biblical order of things--for us first to acknowledge God's holiness (which
causes us to be truthful), and second for us to realize how powerful and loving God is, even toward us.
I'm purchasing 3 copies of the book (my copy was given to me as a gift) and planning to influence
others to read it carefully. My main critique of the book is that it appears to understate our need, as free agents,
to take responsibility for our choices and calculate how our actions today effect our lives tomorrow.
I believe we pray not only to surrender, but also to gain secure footing as we take responsible action.
Highly recommend nonetheless.