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"My name's Andrew, and I'm a list-prayer."  OK, list praying is not really an addiction (though some of the more mystical among us might make us feel like we need to confess it).  God wired many intercessors - including me - this way.  But most of us would admit that there are times when the lists get exhausting. We tire ourselves out with our own words, and our sense of God's nearness dims as we concentrate on the details of our lists.

 

Enter a book like "Simple Prayer".  By looking at some of the brief, simple prayers in Scripture, Charlie Dawes reminds us that it's not about our words as much as it is about connecting our hearts with God.  And he shows a way to do this that is as elegant as it is simple.

 

Beginning with the prayer that has come to be known as the "Jesus Prayer" ("Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner"), Dawes leads the reader through several of Scripture's simple prayers and shows us how these prayers connect with the heart of God.  Simple prayers like, "Just say the word," uttered by a Roman centurion who expressed both his faith and his petition in these four simple words.  Simple prayers like, "Help me overcome my unbelief," the desperate cry of a father for strengthening of his faith and healing of his son.  Simple prayers like, "Father, forgive them," prayed by our Savior on behalf of those who tortured and killed him.

 

Simple prayers like these are one way we can connect with God throughout the day, a way to pray without ceasing. There is a time for striving in prayer, but simple prayers remind us that God does not hear us because of our striving but because he is the God who hears.

 

I'm not one for prayer formulas, and I know that my primary mode of prayer will always be the list-intercession type. But knowing that I can connect with God simply and Scripturally is opening a new vista for me in prayer.  The prayers studied in this book make me excited to search the Scriptures for other examples of simple ways to connect with God's heart.

Simple Prayer was published by Intervarsity Press  in 2017.  You can find it at ivpress.com/simple-prayer.

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Comment by Malva Birch on September 13, 2017 at 4:40pm

Andrew, I downloaded this book on my kindle and read it right through in two days. What a life changing book! (Although I am a list-prayer too - there is room for various ways of praying I believe.) I'll refer back to this book again - I never realized that the words "selah" and "hosannah" can be used as prayers! 

Thank you so much for pointing out this book for us. 

God bless!

Comment by Malva Birch on September 12, 2017 at 7:37am

Andrew, thank you for this review. There are so many books on prayer that it can be overwhelming. Life itself can be so overwhelming too at times, that one is silenced and doesn't know what to pray. To have a short, simple prayer that really connects with God is just so needed then.

I would really love to read this book. Thank you for taking the time to share this with us.

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