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Praying Backwards: Transform Your Prayer Life by Beginning in Jesus' Name Paperback – July 1, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
The words "in Jesus' name, Amen"—traditionally used to close Christian prayer—take on significantly deeper meaning thanks to Chapell's newest book. The former pastor, now president of Covenant Theological Seminary, urges readers to use that routine phrase as the premise and basis for prayer rather than merely tacking it on at the end. Chapell offers a well-written, well-organized discussion of prayer based on Jesus' prayer life and biblical principles. The book is unusually rigorous and insightful. Chapell answers tough questions—Why bother to pray? Why does God want persistent prayer? How can we know God's will?—with sound, biblical answers. His metaphor of praying within the "fence posts" of righteousness and prudence along the road to God's will is especially apt. He also includes a thorough discussion of the role of the Holy Spirit, sometimes overlooked in other books on prayer. Finally, Chapell doesn't hesitate to admit that prayer, patience and understanding God's plan are difficult. He says that believers don't need to stop putting "in Jesus' name" at the end of prayer; they need to start putting God's priorities first. As he explains, "Praying in Jesus' name is not merely the postscript to a good prayer; it is the prelude to God's providing the best of all things for his loved ones." (July)
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From the Back Cover
"In Jesus' Name, Amen."
Like the closing credits of a movie, these familiar words provide a signal that a prayer has come to an end. But what does it mean to offer our prayers in Jesus' name? Though we say the words, do we really mean them? And how would the content and character of our prayers change if we did?
Praying Backwards introduces believers to the transforming process of beginning our prayers in Jesus' name-not by moving a simple phrase, but by understanding and embracing the meaning behind the phrase. To truly pray in Jesus' name is to reorder our priorities in prayer-and in life-away from ourselves and toward Jesus and his kingdom. It is to pray, "Not my will, but your will be done." It is to pray boldly, expectantly, and persistently. If you want to revolutionize your prayer life, begin by Praying Backwards.
"Across the years I have learned so much from Bryan Chapell that I thought the laws of mathematics would keep me from learning much more. But it happened again!"-Calvin Miller, author; professor, Beeson Divinity School
"Finally, here is a book on prayer that puts the person of our Lord before the petitions on our lists."-Scotty Smith, senior pastor, Christ Community Church, Franklin, Tennessee
"With careful exposition of Scripture and helpful applications to daily life, Bryan Chapell encourages all of us to 'pray and not lose heart' (Luke 18:1)."-Jerry Bridges, author and speaker
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Top customer reviews
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The author does a good job of challenging readers to consider the way that they pray. Oftentimes people pray about a wish list that they want God to fulfill, treating Him like He is Santa Claus, rather than the Creator of the Universe. I am not criticizing others on this point without also doing it to myself. I have been there and done that.
Mr. Chapell encourages readers to begin prayers in the name of Jesus with the premise that they will then be focusing on His will, rather than their own. It has certainly caused me to evaluate myself in that regard and work on improving.
I recommend this book for anyone wanting to deepen his/her prayer life.
Path: Miller breaks a path for the reader through the daunting jungle of prayer. He explains what "praying in Jesus' name" is not (ch 1), praying for God's will (ch 2), praying without doubting (ch 3), the Spirit's intercession in prayer (ch 4), the grounds upon which a believer can pray (ch 5), hope in prayer (ch 6), persistence in prayer (ch 7), prayer and God's will (ch 8-9), and prayer and action (ch 10).
Sources: Chapell uses helpful illustrations, good quotes, applicable scriptures, and an easy to understand style to effectively communicate great truths regarding prayer.
Agreement: This readable, helpful, and extremely challenging book is a great resource. Some books you should skim through to get the main point. Some books you should read very slowly. This book is best read chapter by chapter.
I loved the summary statements at the end of each chapter
The discussion questions at the end of the book would make this a great resource for a small group study
The example prayers are helpful
His everyday illustrations were very good
Personal App: Is my heart ready to pray in Jesus' name?
Favorite Quote: "Praying backwards simply ensures that he comes first in our thoughts so that we are prompted to make him first in our priorities" (p. 16).
I was challenged by this book, and look forward to going through it again with others. It would be worth another read and I would recommend it.
Within his book, author Bryan Chapell seeks to instruct believers in what it means to pray in the name of Jesus. He calls upon readers to begin their prayer with a focus on Christ while allowing the word of God to direct the content of their petitions. Using the Lord's prayer as a template he expounds on what it means to focus on the kingdom of God rather than the kingdom of men. Once this God-directed focus is set as the foundation, he examines how it applies to our personal lives. Each subsequent chapter tackles Biblical passages on prayer dealing with persistence, wisdom, faith, and a humble trust in the sovereignty of God.
In the end, the book is a systematic look at prayer according to the Bible. Sprinkled with illustrations and examples the book is an easy read, but the content never strays from the Biblical text. If you are looking to grow your prayer life and desire to have it conform to the Lord's instruction, the book is well worth buying.