Skip to main content

Read this Book! - You Can Pray by Tim Chester

Some books start with a bang and quickly fizzle out. Others are hard to get into, but eventually provide some helpful insights. Some are take weeks to slog through, with golden nuggets dispersed throughout to keep you going. Others have one amazing chapter that's worth the price of the book (and sadly many chapters which, well, aren't). This is not any one of those types of book.

About once a year or so a popular level book comes along that's so good I just can't help recommending it to everyone. Last year it was David Murray's Jesus On Every Page, and the year before that Mike Reeves' The Good God. They're the sort of books that I can't wait to re-read, that I can't stop myself from urging other people to pick up, and of which I end up joyfully giving multiple copies as gifts. That's the sort of good I'm talking about when I say that Tim Chester's new book, You Can Pray, is good.

Now, Tim Chester has form here; I've never read a Tim Chester book which I haven't thought was really good, but this is perhaps his best yet (at least out of the one's I've read). You Can Pray doesn't just start out strong, but continues consistently strongly right to the end. It is, at the same time, thoroughly biblical, profoundly theological (but not pretentiously so), and immensely helpful and practical (in all the right ways). It's also very clearly and simply written. I wouldn't hesitate to give it to a brand new Christian, or one of the teenagers in church. And still, at the same time, I'd be equally happy recommending it to the most mature of saints, the most experienced of pastors, or the most high-powered of denominational leaders. It really is a book for everyone that can be easily read by everyone. I read the whole thing in an evening.

But not only is the book suitable and readable for all, it's also a book that encourages you to pray. And when I say encourage, I don't mean in the sort of 'guilt you into it' way that can so often be the case. No, this is a book that shows so clearly how, why, and for what we pray that it simply provokes you into prayer in a good way.

I've taught on prayer, preached on prayer, and read lots of books on prayer. Many of the books on prayer that I've read have been helpful, some very helpful; but this is the most well-rounded, consistently helpful, clear, gospel-rooted book on prayer that I know. And this is the book I would recommend without the slightest hesitation to anyone who asks me for something to read to help them in prayer.

I could give you lots of wonderful quotes, but I won't. Instead, I think the table of contents is probably the best way to give you an indication of what the book's about. So here it is:

Part 1: Why Prayer is Easy (How we pray)
1. The Father Loves to Hear Us Pray
2. The Son Makes Every Prayer Pleasing to God
3. The Spirit Helps Us as we Pray

Part 2: Why Prayer is Hard (Why we pray)
4. 'I've got more enjoyable things to do.'
5. 'I've got more urgent things to do.'
6. 'When I needed him, God didn't answer.'
7. The Battle to Pray - and how to win it

Part 3: What We Pray
8. The Arguments of Prayer
9. The Priorities of Prayer: God's Glory
10. The Priorities of Prayer: Our Needs

And here's a quick video introduction from the author himself:



Popular posts from this blog

These are the Bones of Elisha (Declaring the Word of the Lord)

One of the most curious events in all of Scripture is found in a single verse in 2 Kings 13. That chapter records the death of the prophet Elisha, and yet, there’s still one more story of Elisha here some time after his death. 2 Kings 13:21 tells us:
So it was, as they were burying a man, that suddenly they spied a band of raiders; and they put the man in the tomb of Elisha; and when the man was let down and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived and stood on his feet. Elisha was dead. And yet when a corpse was thrown into his tomb hastily in an attempt to hide from marauding bands of Moabites, the man came back to life simply by his corpse touching Elisha’s bones. Even as miracles go, that one’s quite impressive.

On the Church and On Sin: With a (former) Tory MP and a Catholic Priest

What with the Extraordinary Synod going on in Rome this week, the Roman Catholic Church has been in the news a bit of late. And as a result of all this pre-synod hype in the media, two Roman Catholics wrote two of the best articles I read last week. One was an article in the Catholic Herald by a priest. The other was an article in the Spectator by a former MP. You should read both of them. (But if you're not going to read both, then please at least read the second one!)

Now, maybe that seems a bit odd. I am, after all, both a Pentecostal pastor and an Ulster Protestant. And as such, I'm convinced that very significant aspects of Roman Catholic theology are seriously wrong. I still believe that justification by faith alone is the article on which the church stands or falls. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't read, and even learn from, Roman Catholics. Although we are justified by faith alone, it is by faith in Christ alone, not faith in the right formulation of the doc…

Money, Money, Money (Must Be Funny, in a Rich Man’s World!)

‘Not the Pentecostals! Watch out – they’ll be trying to get all your money.’
     – The reaction when a new Christian told her Muslim uncle that she’d got saved and           started attending a Pentecostal church. ‘Hello, I’m calling from [“Christian” TV channel]. We have some great deals on advertising during our broadcasts and wondered if the church would be interested.’
     – A phone call yesterday. ‘$11,150’
     – the amount one American church is appealing to raise to produce a worship album $750 plus expenses
     – an American amount recommended as a gift for visiting preachers ‘US pastors paid up to $300,000 - are Church of England vicars getting a raw deal?’
     – recent Headline in Christian Today

£5.75 million
     – the amount of money an evangelical church down south is trying to raise for               building improvements.$25,000
     – the amount two American pastors are raising to produce a six minute teaching video Money has been on my mind a bit of late. Not my …