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Books (and other resources) have had a profound impact on my understanding and experience of prayer and praying.  You too?

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The God Who Hears
Bingham Hunter
InterVarsity Press

Hunter begins where prayer really should begin - with who God is. He deals with several aspects of God's character and how they impact our prayers. He asks questions like "If God is all-knowing, what is there to tell him?" and "How do I relate to a God who is Spirit?" He doesn't shy away from the tough ones, either, like "Why pray to a God who lets people hurt?".

I love Hunter's statement that "Prayer is not a means we use to get what we want from God; it's a means God uses to give us what He wants." Praying well, then, starts with understanding what God wants, and that begins with knowing who God is, what He is like, and having a personal relationship with Him. Hunter makes the observation that God responds not to our words but to our lives.

This book is not light reading, but it's the best perspective on prayer that I've ever read. Hunter's understanding of prayer keeps the believer from falling into "prayer fads"; he rejects formulaic approaches to prayer in favor of a relational approach. This is surely the way God meant prayer to be. Hunter sees prayer not as a separate activity but rather as a pervasive part of an overall relationship with God. If I could recommend one book on prayer for everyone to read, this would be it.
the practice of the presence of God is one of the first books i read on prayer. his words gave me prayers to pray. i grew up in the catholic church and through catholic charismatic christians i found Jesus as my LORD and Savior. for those who might remember the birthing of that movement you've probably figured out that i'm over fifty! i was so blessed. i found a wealth of knowledge on contemplative prayer from centuries ago up to and including now. that's how i found brother lawrence. growing up you end up without effort memorizing the prayers said in the mass. for example, to this day i still pray "i worship You, i give You thanks, i praise You for Your glory." and i'm a big believer in the worth of public, pre-written prayers. not all are good of course, but growing up in a liturgical church gave me many prayers i can still pray and speak true love to our God.

i no longer go to mass, i go to an evangelical church, i don't care where, as long as the Word is preached. so it's been different churches depending on where i've lived, but when i think of such a blessed beginning i had i am so grateful. if i could i'd still go to catholic charismatic prayer meetings, plus my own church.

i veered off topic here, but i wouldn't have been exposed to so books on prayer if i had grown up in a different church
Passionate Prayer, by Catherine Martin
One of my favorite prayer resources, this is a detailed overview of prayer; accessible but deep. 30 Day format, includes study questions. Includes studies of Biblical prayers, quotes from famous books on prayer and suggested formats for prayer journals. I suggest that if you study this in a small group, you spread it out over 8 or 10 weeks--don't try to fit it all into 30 days.
Book available at Amazon or DVDS for group study available from
31 Days of Praise, by Ruth and Warren Myers
If you only buy one book on the topic of prayer--this should be it! This book taught me to pray and praise. It's filled with scripture-based praise-prayers and instructions on developing the “heart-habit” of praise. (My copy is filled with beach sand and candy cane stickiness and coffee stains; it's well-loved.) 157 pages, daily format. No study questions, but a facilitator could lead a group through this book, using the scripture references to dig deeper into the subject.
i too love this series. i have been involved in prayer ministries for more years than i care to count, yet when i read this series, i found myself immediately re-reading it at least three times. there were three important things that stood out to me.

one, it centered on a group of women who chose to meet for JUST! prayer. the church body is often overly busy and prayer can be reduced to an invocation at the beginning of a meeting or Bible study, or a very quick closing so that people can hurry up and go home now that the important stuff is done.

second it was a group of women who met together and as they took the risk of opening up about themselves, they began to support one another in prayer. not just during prayer group time, but extending themselves beyond that. for some it overflowed into action, and for some, even into friendship.

third, and perhaps most importantly, the leader of this "yada yada" group {which means fantastic things in hebrew, but i don't want to spoil it for you} is avis, who just so happens to be a worship leader in her church :) she leads them by example through showing them that although each others' cares and concerns are important, she still first launches out into praise for Who God is, and she stays there for a while as the others join in as they're able. then she begins to worship God for what He's done, and moves into such prayers concerning the specific needs mentioned that day. another character speaks Scripture to the situations mentioned... and i'm going to stop there. except for one line from one of the books, this is the jist of it: you've got to get past just believing IN God, and move into believing Him.

i agree with you anastasia, i too would give this series five stars.

one thing though, their website is this one:
I just started Live a Praying Life, by Jennifer Kennedy Dean. It was published by New Hope Publishers, and it's available at

Jennifer spoke at the Midwest Prayer Conference in Terre Haute this weekend, and I really loved what she had to say about faith. I think the reality of Jesus actually living inside me became more real to me as she spoke.

So I was anxious to get this book and to get started on a life that would enable me to "pray without ceasing". After only a short time, I'm already benefitting greatly - I think this book will turn out to be everything I hoped it would. I'm looking forward to this 13-week adventure.
"The Practice of the Presence of God" keeps videos of joy in my mind so I can
pray through difficult times. I re-read it when my wife was diagnosed with cancer this year.

Prayer has kept us grounded with the big picture of God's loving care. I asked participants in one of our Spiritual Visionquests for Joy to read it before the weekend adventure.
I'm sure you'll enjoy the steps of this leg of your Journey. I encourage you to mark up your book and take notes well. You will get so much out of this. Have an awesome time as you dig deeper.
God bless,
Eph. 3:20
I read this as well, amazing, best find ever at a garage sale. Blessed my prayer life. Good for summer time when all the studies stop and you are in a dry spell.
Prayer and Listening

Discerning the Voice of God: How to Recognize When God Speaks,
by Priscilla Shirer Lifeway says this study will “help participants know the voice of God: His language, character, and tone of voice. By growing closer to God through His Word, participants will be able to discern God's voice from the voice of strangers.” 185 page book (at Amazon or Lifeway) or 127 page workbook to accompany 6 session DVD series (at Lifeway).

He Speaks to Me: Preparing to Hear the Voice of God, by Priscilla Shirer
This study of Samuel describes his godly characteristics and how we can apply them to our own lives. 201 page book or 128 page workbook and 6 session DVD (at Lifeway).

Can We Talk? Soul-Stirring Conversations with God, by Priscilla Shirer
This book gives modern women tools to develop a conversation with God. 149 page workbook to accompany 6 session DVD from Lifeway.

The Sacred Echo, by Margaret Feinberg
Similar in subject to Priscilla Shirer’s studies, this book is a personal testimony of hearing and obeying God’s voice and an encouragement to listen and follow when He speaks to you. 235 pages, 10 chapters, at Amazon. No study questions. A curriculum with 6 session DVD and workbooks is available at
I have three boxes of books on prayer, some that Sara mentioned.

I enjoyed "Jesus and Prayer" by Daniel Harrington published in 2009 by Word Among Us Press.
It is 138 pages of a fascinating triup of the New Testament, examing the prayers about Jesus
as well as what Jesus said about prayer and how Jesus prayed.

Each chapter ends withg a "think, pray, and act" section. This invites us to join the earliest Christians in celebrating Jesus as we grow in our relationship with God.

We used it in our 100 days of intensive prayer in groups of three at the First Christian Church in Weeping Water, Nebraska.--Dr. James Evans McReynolds, pastor.

I would like to know how that process was received and i it has sustained ongoing prayer and praying. Your project may benefit other churches . .

Pray! Community Manager

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