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Pray With Your Eyes Open: Looking at God, Ourselves, and Our Prayers Paperback – August 1, 1987
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"Many years ago, early disciples petitioned, 'Lord, teach us to pray.' Through this book, the Lord is still answering that prayer." --Bookstore Journal
"Refreshing! A definite aid . . ." --R.C. Sproul
About the Author
Richard L. Pratt Jr. (ThD, Harvard University) is Professor of Old Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando campus. He is also the author of He Gave Us Stories, and Every Thought Captive.
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Top Customer Reviews
As Pratt indicates at the start, this book does not provide any grand revelations on prayer that haven't been known throughout the history of the church. It's not a magic pill offering magical formulas, and it doesn't resolve every conceivable issue surrounding prayer. But it is still quite thorough in the issues it addresses, and more importantly, its inquisitiveness is substantive and very practical.
A reader who decides to read this book is probably someone who feels that their prayer life is missing something, maybe a lot. Many Christians are in this boat, me included. As a result, I think many readers will be pleasantly surprised by the insights that are offered about our approach to prayer and how both our prayers and the attitudes and expectations behind them are so often out of accord with the prayers recorded in the Bible.
Not surprisingly, the bulk of Pratt's examination on prayer is from an Old Testament perspective, since he's an Old Testament guy. Readers may very well experience something akin to an awakening or a reappreciation for the Psalms after reading this book, I know I did. Pratt is thorough in his examination and tends to do a very good job in backing up his assertions in Scripture. He tends to be very careful in not making grand statements that have no Scriptural support, and this alone is refreshing within the publishing world where prayer is concerned.
I found Pratt's approach to be pretty systematic in logically working from one issue to the next. The review/discussion questions at the end of each chapter make this book excellent for small group studies in addition to individual reading and reflection. Pratt does an outstanding job of categorizing the many issues of prayer within three essential aspects of prayer - God, ourselves, and communication. Similar to a wedding, where all that's essential is the bride, groom, and officiant (and maybe a witness or two) while everything else is gravy when you really think about it, a focus on these three essential aspects of prayer helps the discussion greatly and makes all of the chapters relevant within a larger framework of obvious relevancy.
This book will benefit the reader greatly, because he/she will gain a greater understanding of the God they are praying to, in addition to a much more discerning and even critical attitude towards themselves and the motives and expectations they bring to prayer. In addition, the section on the prayerful communication itself may really bring a renewed spark of enthusiasm and vitality to prayer that will replace the mundane and even meaningless monotony so many of us get caught up in when we pray. Highly recommended.
This book is taking me forever to read. That's because I keep on reading each chapter 2-3 times before moving on. The effects are not only profound for your prayer life, but for your whole relationship with God. I am finding it transforming.
Here's a tip on using the book: program into your diary to spend some days away with God. Then go find somewhere beautiful and relaxing, and take a bible, a notepad, and Pratt's book. It will be like cool water to your soul.
I have had the privilege of hearing Richard speak on several occasions in Sydney. He is a warm, funny, engaging, out-of-the-box guy. He is also serious about fostering a joyful and totally-transforming relationship with God. Richard, if you read this review, be encouraged in the knowledge that your book is doing a lot of good -- even 17 years after it was published.