I read lots of books about prayer. One of my most recent reads is “Prayer in the Making” by Lyndall Bywater. Readers of this blog may remember that I found her previous book, “Faith in the Making” challenging and inspiring, so I thought I’d take a look.
I am not a great prayer, but I do take pains to keep my relationship with God fresh and two-way, so I like to get ideas and be inspired by others who are perhaps more accomplished pray-ers than me.
Books on prayer can be ‘deep’, otherworldly and guilt inducing. “Prayer in the Making” is not one of those; it is thoroughly practical and encouraging, as one would expect from someone who has travelled the path of discovering prayer herself. Challenging…yes, guilt-inducing…definitely not!
The sub-title of the book, “Trying it, talking it, sustaining it’ gives away something of the authors approach, as she invites us to investigate 12 different ways of praying to find those that suit both our personalities and our lifestyles…it is about an open door to prayer rather than a narrow gate opened to the chosen few.
Using a scriptural theme and lots of practical examples we are taken on a journey through the themes Encounter, Worship, Listening, Stillness, Action, Intercession, Strategy, Restorations, Voice and body, Scripture, Warfare and Resilience. Each section finishes with exercises to help us try it, talk it and sustain it.
When I read a new book, I like to use coloured post-it tabs to mark pages of interest, and there is a veritable forest of tabs in my copy of this book. The section about ‘grief and gratitude’ in worship is a firm favourite, as are the sections on ‘Stillness’, ‘Strategy’ and ‘Scripture’. The section under ‘Resilience’ that talks about building a rhythm of prayer, and uses the ‘Lord’s Prayer’ as a template is excellent (I’ve read lots of books about the Lord’s Prayer, and the section in “Prayer in the Making” is one of the most helpful and accessible I have found.
This book makes for a great personal read, but would also provide excellent material for Home Groups, Reading Groups and so on, and would even provide a useful framework for a teaching series on prayer.
But don’t take my word for it…read it for yourself!