on April 8, 2007
James Emery White has written a very balanced book on prayer, referring to the disciples' prayer ("Our Father, which art in heaven...") to frame the essential attitudinal and active elements of "the prayer God longs for"; namely: intimate, expectant, reverent, submitted, dependent, honest, humble.
It takes mastery of any subject matter in order to speak or write concisely about same, and in this regard, the author does not disappoint. With an economy of expression I appreciate, he addresses several questions about prayer that have been troubling me lately, and I feel he has adequately answered my concerns right from scriptures.
For me, the key portion of the entire book is contained in the chapter entitled, "Reverent." On page 42, where the author -- citing Evelyn Underhill -- writes about King David's being "...directed to build an altar to God on Araunah's threshing floor," he notes that Araunah was visited first by an angel, then by King David himself, the latter offering a fair price for the threshing floor. Araunah is overwhelmed at being called upon for something so important with such an intended purpose. He freely gives, not only the threshing floor, but what is necessary to consecrate it unto the LORD. The outcome of Araunah's honor, his reverence? "...the site, for generations of prayers was not simply declared holy but made holy."
Being not simply declared holy, but made holy -- having circumcised hearts and circumcised ears before God -- is necessary to truly praying the prayer God longs for, whether doing so alone or corporately, and to being part of His kingdom come, His will be(ing) done on earth as it is in heaven. Inescapably, we are in a spiritual warfare, and our prayers likewise have eternal consequences, with the potency to affect nations and generations to come.
I especially appreciate the author's expansion of the concept (from Psalm 42) of "deep calleth unto deep," about the silences of God. His explanation (pp. 107-110) resonates with my own understanding of that passage after recently putting that psalm to music and singing it almost daily in my own worship, as well as with the truths covered in a (November 19, 2006) sermon entitled, "The Hesitancy of God," by Pastor R. Kevin Smith of Jefferson, Texas, a key message at the right moment through a chosen vessel of the LORD.
White is clearly a trinitarian, which may put off oneness believers, but I sincerely hope not to the extent that it would prevent the latter from reading and drawing from the riches of this book. References to the trinity are primarily, if not exclusively, found in the first chapter of the book where the author confronts the question of "to whom do we pray?" an area of confusion I have dealt with in my own migration from a lifelong trinitarian persuasion to a much more recent oneness one.
The author delivers on what this book's title promises, and I feel that reading this book has helped me in my desire to pray "the prayer God longs for." I recommend this book to others and am quite interested myself in reading other works by James Emery White.
on October 9, 2013
First time reading author, James Emery White. In this exposition of "The Lord's Prayer", i was pleased to see pages laced with supportive Scripture, while directing our hearts to take the ultimate, intimate, path of "deep calling deep". It was a joy to read.