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Praying: Finding Our Way Through Duty to Delight Paperback – April 17, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Easy is never the word that fits real praying," say evangelical Christian heavyweight Packer and Nystrom, a freelance writer who has penned more than 70 books and Bible study guides. Packer's series of talks on prayer combined with Nystrom's transcription and input blend to create this definitive work that will deepen readers' understanding of a difficult subject. Both authors admit struggles with prayer, which makes their words even more reassuring for Christians who rarely confess to similar wrestlings. The book covers all aspects of prayer: the God we pray to, meditation (what Packer calls "brooding"), prayer checkups, petitions and even corporate prayer. The pair also discuss fundamental questions: why must we praise God? and can we really complain to God? Readers shouldn't expect an easy, breezy read from Packer. Nystrom works to keep Packer's original voice strong, which means deep thinking, even deeper explanations and sentences of some length. His love of history is evident through his many references to C.S. Lewis and church fathers such as Luther and Augustine. The work of reading this book pays off in a much more thorough understanding of prayer, its hindrances and its joys. Study questions for each chapter encourage personal reflection and broader understanding. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"There is much to be gained from reading this book! Not only do the authors tell us what prayer is, but also what it is not. They do an excellent job in stressing how we should pray according to Scriptural principles." (Rev. Andrew Simcak Jr., Christian News, March 26, 2007, page 13)
"Praying gently pulls readers in with its conversational style, quotations and excerpts from beloved works." (Christian Retailing, July 3, 2006)
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Top Customer Reviews
Although I prefer "God, Help Me Pray" (because of the format) this book will appeal to those who see prayer as more of a science than an art. But make no mistake, you will pick up some interesting tidbits if you're willing to read and study this book carefully.
Also recommended: "God, Help Me Pray!" (Emails to/from God)
"With Christ in the School of Prayer"
This collaboration has the feel of a rush job, thrown into the mix of the recent proliferation of books on prayer, using Packer's name to guarantee an audience. It just doesn't feel like a Packer book, so let me be candid in saying that my hunch is that this is mostly the work of Ms. Nystrom.
Many paragraphs begin by pointing out that the following thoughts are hers, and vice versa. It makes for a choppiness and chattiness that in no way resembles the superiour quality of J.I. Packer's finest works such as Knowing God, and Keep In Step With The Spirit. Perhaps it's not fair to compare ANY book to Packer's classics, but this book is simply substandard material.
It is an attractive looking volume, with a beautiful cover, promoted by a major publisher, featuring one of the all-time greats. Maybe I would be less critical if this was my first Packer book. He is one of the most influential evangelicals of the last century, principally because of his writing.
But this is mediocre at best. On this topic you are much better off with O. Hallesby's classic "Prayer" and Bryan Chapell's "Praying Backwards."
Now that I feel bad about ripping one of Mr. Packer's books, I suggest that if you want to be inspired, get a copy of Alistair MacIntyre's terrific biography, simply titled "Packer."