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Prayer: How Praying Together Shapes the Church (9Marks: Building Healthy Churches) Hardcover – August 31, 2018
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From the Publisher
“I don’t know if I’ve ever read a book on prayer that left me feeling the entire range of human emotion―until reading John Onwuchekwa’s Prayer. Here is a human book―beautiful, poignant, funny, gritty, and pastoral. This book is better than a correction to our often languid prayer lives. There’s no guilt-based manipulation. Onwuchekwa writes like a fellow traveler, and as a fellow traveler knows what travelers need most: refreshment. Here’s a thirst-quenching encouragement to join together in seeking our great God. I pray every church reads Prayer together; it will change our congregations. Here’s a warm invitation to the entire church, beckoning the people of God to the wonders of prayer.”
―Thabiti Anyabwile, Pastor, Anacostia River Church, Washington, DC; author, What Is a Healthy Church Member?
“Prayer is an excellent book by my dear friend John Onwuchekwa. It is biblically and theologically rich. It is also real and honest. Want to get a corporate prayer meeting started in your church? This book is a very good start.”
―Daniel L. Akin, President, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
“Everyone remembers that auntie or uncle who hushed our fears with the words, ‘Baby, we just gon’ pray on that.’ John Onwuchekwa is that voice for today, calling the church back to one of the simplest and most powerful tools in her arsenal―the habit of communal prayer. He doesn’t merely want to reawaken our atrophied prayer muscles; he invites us into the much harder work of reorienting our priorities so that they’re more in line with God’s. Onwuchekwa’s call to return to such ‘first things’ is an excellent start to seeing Christian communities moving in the same kingdom direction.”
―K. A. Ellis, Cannada Fellow for World Christianity, Reformed Theological Seminary
“There’s likely something missing in your church, something you haven’t thought much of and likely haven’t even noticed. It’s prayer. Onwuchekwa shares compelling, insightful, and biblical reasons why corporate prayer should be a priority for the church. What a privilege it is to pray together as a family―this is the vision Onwuchekwa casts for us. This book has the potential to transform not only individuals, but also relationships and the culture in our churches. I highly recommend it.”
―Trillia Newbell, author, If God Is For Us: The Everlasting Truth of Our Great Salvation
“The early church moved forward in power because they were a praying church (Acts 4:31). If we today are so proficient at ministry mechanics that we can succeed without power from on high, we have failed. But if our churches today will heed this compelling call to prayer by John Onwuchekwa, we too will prevail against all earthly powers, for God’s glory!”
―Ray Ortlund, President, Renewal Ministries
“This is a thought-provoking book about the life of prayer in the local church. Onwuchekwa builds a theological framework and then gives tangible and practical solutions for fleshing it out. I’ve had the privilege of working with John over the last decade, and I’ve seen no one better able to take lofty concepts and present them in a way that is palatable for the body of Christ. This book is an outworking of his gift. He takes biblical principles and communicates them in an effective way. His work on this subject is a gift to the church.”
―Dhati Lewis, Lead Pastor, Blueprint Church, Atlanta, Georgia; Executive Director of Community Restoration, North American Mission Board; author, Among Wolves: Disciple-Making in the City
“What more could be needed by our churches than a revival of gospel-centered spirituality? And what more could we do to experience this revival than to recommit to nourishing communion with our Father through prayer? This is why I’m thankful for this exceptional book by John Onwuchekwa. It is an accessible, practical, and relatable guide to the depths of the enormous, glorious privilege of speaking to the God of the universe.”
―Jared C. Wilson, Assistant Professor of Pastoral Ministry, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; Director, Pastoral Training Center, Liberty Baptist Church, Kansas City, Missouri
“I have a lot to say about this little book, because it’s so good. In fact, I think this is one of the best books in this series. Brief and well written, this book by pastor John Onwuchekwa looks especially at two sections of the Gospels―the Lord’s Prayer, and Jesus’s prayer in the garden of Gethsemane. Onwuchekwa shares significant observations that seem intuitive, but are also surprising. It is well illustrated, biblically faithful, and theologically accurate. This book is useful to think not only about when we should pray, but also about how we should pray, and even what we should pray about. It reintroduces us to the ignored topic of praying together at church. Hope-giving and inspiring, specific and practical, the whole book is sweetened by touches of humor. You and others could benefit from investing your time in reading this small book on such a grand topic.”
―Mark Dever, Pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington, DC
About the Author
John Onwuchekwa (MA, Dallas Theological Seminary) serves as pastor of Cornerstone Church in Atlanta, Georgia.
Pastor, Cornerstone Church, Atlanta, Georgia; author, Prayer: How Praying Together Shapes the Church
- Publisher : Crossway (August 31, 2018)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 144 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1433559471
- ISBN-13 : 978-1433559471
- Item Weight : 7.8 ounces
- Dimensions : 5 x 0.53 x 7 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #70,026 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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John begins by looking at the communal nature of prayer. “We’re not just individuals in relationship with God, but we are part of a community of people who have the same access to God. Prayer is a collective exercise.” (41)
He continues by showing how that collective is best represented in the gathering of the local church. “The local church is the best way to define the ‘us’ in our prayers. . . . The Christian in covenant with a local church is never alone. As long as the church endures, which will be for all eternity, the Christian is always part of an ‘us.’ The local church takes the theory of Christianity and makes it tangible—in love, deed, and especially in prayer.” (62)
That’s where you see some of the most valuable parts of the book. When John begins to describe some of the different ways to incorporate prayer into the the regular services of the church. Specifically through a variety of different kinds of prayer. “God wants a deep relationship with his people. And the deeper the relationship, the more varied the communication. We explore the wonder of who God is during our prayer of adoration. We embrace the mercy he provides during our prayer of confession. We reflect on all he’s done for us during our prayer of thanksgiving. We lean on him and feel his strength during our prayer of supplication. By including these prayers in our Sunday service, we display the width and depth of our relationship with God.” (88)
At the end of the day, the book points to God as the center of all things. “The power of our prayers isn’t found in the number of people praying, but the willingness of the One to whom we’re praying.” (126)
These are only a few of the things that make this a powerful book.