Free Vyrso Book (19/July): Living a Prayerful Life by Andrew Murray

Page 1 of 2 (22 items) 1 2 Next >
This post has 21 Replies | 3 Followers

Posts 3685
Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 19 2014 8:39 AM

Thanks for the post.

One of my frustrations with a lot of prayer books these days is that they tell you to pray all day, all night, prayer is power, moves mountains, deepens your relationship, etc. I agree with all of the above. But when you go through a dry period, it would be nice to have "prayer coaching".Does anyone know if there is any Logos book that does that?

What I am looking for: something not dependent on Charismatic theology (Praying in Tongues 101), non-controversial (Get a Ferrari by Friday through Prayer and Fasting) or overly specialized ("14 Days of Prayer for the US Congress").

I am not looking for a quick run-down by fellow forum participants as to how to go about it (please don't). Just a book with perhaps a brief description as to why you'd recommend it.

Posts 1434
Wild Eagle | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 19 2014 8:57 AM

Matt 6:5-14 - very practical Wink

"No man is greater than his prayer life. The pastor who is not praying is playing; the people who are not praying are straying." Leonard Ravenhill 

Posts 2764
Erwin Stull, Sr. | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 19 2014 10:27 AM

Francis:

One of my frustrations with a lot of prayer books these days is that they tell you to pray all day, all night, prayer is power, moves mountains, deepens your relationship, etc. I agree with all of the above. But when you go through a dry period, it would be nice to have "prayer coaching".Does anyone know if there is any Logos book that does that?

Yes

Posts 27770
Forum MVP
JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 19 2014 10:39 AM

Francis:

Thanks for the post.

One of my frustrations with a lot of prayer books these days is that they tell you to pray all day, all night, prayer is power, moves mountains, deepens your relationship, etc. I agree with all of the above. But when you go through a dry period, it would be nice to have "prayer coaching".Does anyone know if there is any Logos book that does that?

What I am looking for: something not dependent on Charismatic theology (Praying in Tongues 101), non-controversial (Get a Ferrari by Friday through Prayer and Fasting) or overly specialized ("14 Days of Prayer for the US Congress").

I am not looking for a quick run-down by fellow forum participants as to how to go about it (please don't). Just a book with perhaps a brief description as to why you'd recommend it.

The best book I've read isn't available in Logos/Vyrso. It is Prayer by Richard Foster. It is honest and instructive. http://www.amazon.com/Prayer-10th-Anniversary-Finding-Hearts-ebook/dp/B000FC13DQ/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1405791431&sr=8-7&keywords=Prayer 

OSX & iOS | Logs |  Install

Posts 6479
DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 19 2014 10:49 AM

Francis:

Thanks for the post.

One of my frustrations with a lot of prayer books these days is that they tell you to pray all day, all night, prayer is power, moves mountains, deepens your relationship, etc. I agree with all of the above. But when you go through a dry period, it would be nice to have "prayer coaching".Does anyone know if there is any Logos book that does that?

What I am looking for: something not dependent on Charismatic theology (Praying in Tongues 101), non-controversial (Get a Ferrari by Friday through Prayer and Fasting) or overly specialized ("14 Days of Prayer for the US Congress").

I am not looking for a quick run-down by fellow forum participants as to how to go about it (please don't). Just a book with perhaps a brief description as to why you'd recommend it.

I think we lack books on this "coaching part" because many forget that praying is like communicating your needs through a walkie-talkie to God or having a conversation with your father when he's just listening and not talking back.  You get to talk to Him and tell him all about your problems.  There's nothing complicated about it, just talk knowing that He's listening and that you will get what you're asking for if it's His Will.  Look at how all the Bible characters started their prayers and that should tell you how to go about it (e.g. Jesus, David, Nehemiah, Aaron and Moses, Peter, Paul, etc.).

DAL

Posts 169
Daniel NM | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 19 2014 11:56 AM

DAL:

I think we lack books on this "coaching part" because many forget that praying is like communicating your needs through a walkie-talkie to God or having a conversation with your father when he's just listening and not talking back.  You get to talk to Him and tell him all about your problems.  There's nothing complicated about it, just talk knowing that He's listening and that you will get what you're asking for if it's His Will.  Look at how all the Bible characters started their prayers and that should tell you how to go about it (e.g. Jesus, David, Nehemiah, Aaron and Moses, Peter, Paul, etc.).

DAL

Yes Yes

<!-- -->

Posts 3685
Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 19 2014 12:20 PM

Say you picked one of the Psalms or Daniel's prayer of confession and verbalized it, you'd be done within 5 minutes. The Lord's Prayer is indeed a pattern but the point is that we don't have extensive models of what "praying without ceasing" looked like. We know there was morning and evening prayer in Israel and that Jewish apostles apparently kept that up (Acts). But when the Lord Jesus chides Peter, James and John for not being able to pray for one hour or when we consider that apparently He spent the whole night praying before selecting the apostles, we face the question: how do we sustain prayer for that long?

I am not one who subscribes to, nor finds any biblical basis, for the "listening" part of prayer that comes from the mystics, has been revived in the last decades and is very popular now. Most of what I have read so far on that relies on limited reasoning ("conversations are two ways"), unsubstantiated statements that seem to be self-evident to the writers ("your heavenly Father longs to talk with you if you will only listen") and appalling use of Scripture ("the small, still voice"). 

Putting aside those, there are practical matters such as (1) How does one combat sleepiness (the three apostles had that problem)? (2) Mental distraction? (3) How to pray for long yet not blab like pagans do? (4) The likes of Tozers and other modern mystics advocate making holes in your bedside with your knees and praying past midnight: is there really a biblical basis for such idea of godliness? (5) How to overcome the one-way talk to an invisible God problem (which does make sleepiness and distraction issues)?

These are the kind of very practical questions that would be good to see addressed in a well-written and Scripturally robust book. The coaching part would be to propose practical things and steps to try for novices or people who want to grow in certain respects.

Posts 18697
Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 19 2014 1:46 PM

DAL:
many forget that praying is like communicating your needs through a walkie-talkie to God or having a conversation with your father when he's just listening and not talking back.

Many forget that prayer is much more than  "communicating your needs to God"; what about praise and thanksgiving, confession, lament, intercession, and silent contemplation listening for the "still small voice".

A good book for when you're going through a dry spell in your prayer life (alas, not on Logos) is a When the Well Runs Dry by Thomas Green.

Posts 6479
DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 19 2014 2:15 PM

Rosie Perera:

DAL:
many forget that praying is like communicating your needs through a walkie-talkie to God or having a conversation with your father when he's just listening and not talking back.

Many forget that prayer is much more than  "communicating your needs to God"; what about praise and thanksgiving, confession, lament, intercession, and silent contemplation listening for the "still small voice".

A good book for when you're going through a dry spell in your prayer life (alas, not on Logos) is a When the Well Runs Dry by Thomas Green.

When I'm having a conversation with my earthly father I say to him "Thank you for being such a great father."  I also say, "You know what dad, remember that time I told you I didn't to this or that, well...I'm sorry but I did I just didn't want to tell you so you wouldn't get upset." I would also say, "Well dad, I know my brother messed up, but could you please give him a break and allow him to make it up to you." 

You can always include thanksgiving, confession, intercession, etc. when you're having a conversation.  The problem is that many have given prayer this sense of "mystical experience" and that you need to follow some kind of "ritual" or include certain steps to actually get it right, when that's not it.  It's much simpler than that, that's why God gave it to us, so we can go to Him in prayer any time without having to have some kind of ritual before we get in to it.

Now, about waiting for a "still small voice" I'm not sure about that.  It falls into "Mysticism" unless you have some other interpretation/explanation, God doesn't speak to us like that anymore; but then again, this involves theology and we can head over to the debate part of the forum if you want to discuss that. Wink

DAL Wink

Posts 26749
Forum MVP
MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 19 2014 2:33 PM

Francis:
but the point is that we don't have extensive models of what "praying without ceasing" looked like.

You don't? we do - consider especially the desert fathers and mothers material available in Logos or Art of Prayer - An Orthodox Anthology by Igumen Chariton Of Valamo, Timothy Ware, E. Kadloubovsky and E. M. Palmer

Francis:
Putting aside those, there are practical matters such as (1) How does one combat sleepiness (the three apostles had that problem)? (2) Mental distraction? (3) How to pray for long yet not blab like pagans do? (4) The likes of Tozers and other modern mystics advocate making holes in your bedside with your knees and praying past midnight: is there really a biblical basis for such idea of godliness? (5) How to overcome the one-way talk to an invisible God problem (which does make sleepiness and distraction issues)?

Unfortunately your earlier comments imply that you would reject the vast majority of the literature that answers your questions however consider:

Roberta Bondi's To Pray and To Love as well as To Love as God Loves

Timothy Ware's Prayer if you are lucky enough to be able to find a copy

Francis:
(3) How to pray for long yet not blab like pagans do?

How many pagans do you know that just blab?

Francis:
(4) The likes of Tozers and other modern mystics advocate making holes in your bedside with your knees and praying past midnight: is there really a biblical basis for such idea of godliness?

Not something I've run into with "modern mystics" ... nor have I ever heard of Tozer listed as a mystic although I've heard he was a superb spiritual director ... but does "pray without ceasing" count? Read any translation of The Way of the Pilgrim

Francis:
(5) How to overcome the one-way talk to an invisible God problem (which does make sleepiness and distraction issues)?

You've already rejected the answer "Listen" so I'd suggest that you look into scripture based prayer such as lectio divina. Richard Foster's Prayer is a good starting point.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 2074
GaoLu | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 19 2014 3:08 PM

Books that seem like coaching that I value highly:

Handbook to Prayer by Kenneth Boa  - This book just really worked for me.

Andrew Murray is a bit dry, but his writing  still speaks to me - I like With Christ in the School of Prayer

Stormie Omartian  her style may or may not be your flavor, but her content is very good.    

Some authors like Richard Foster may describe prayer as discipline, others present prayer as the way to get what you want.  Perhaps prayer is richer when it becomes a lovers' language, the desire and urgency of relationship and love compelling a person to speak and listen.  No instruction manual needed.  Still, between even the best of lovers, a dry spell may come and a book may help. 

Posts 325
Sue McIntyre | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jul 19 2014 3:17 PM

A classic on prayer that I read recently in Logos is:

https://www.logos.com/product/1176/the-soul-of-prayer

 It reminds me that prayer is not our idea, but is a gracious gift from God.

"So we pray because we are made for prayer, and God draws us out by breathing himself in" Forsyth

It may, or may not be of interest to you.

Posts 3685
Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 20 2014 12:57 AM

MJ. Smith:

Francis:
(3) How to pray for long yet not blab like pagans do?

How many pagans do you know that just blab?

M.J., this was an allusion to what the Lord Jesus said: "and when you pray, do not keep on blabbing like pagans do..." 

Posts 3685
Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 20 2014 1:25 AM

MJ. Smith:
Not something I've run into with "modern mystics" ... nor have I ever heard of Tozer listed as a mystic although I've heard he was a superb spiritual director ... but does "pray without ceasing" count?

Hopefully, it was understood that this is a hyperbole. What I refer to is writings from a certain era that is very glowy and bigger than life (some of the missionary lives books are like that, you never hear about them losing their temper with their kids or struggling with any sin else than periodic discouragement or doubt). In that kind of book you'd hear stuff like (I am not quoting, just mimicking) "Spurgeon/George Muller/Whoever Else prayed everyday by his bedside, morning, evening and many times between. You can still see the marks made by their knees in their (historical) bedroom)."

But my point, M.J., is not to contradict the idea that we should pray much (again, I referred to the Lord's example above). Yet teaching sometimes passes over some of the more practical considerations. As for praying without ceasing, this clearly does not refer in any way or shape to whether we do it past midnight or not. Even Paul's reference to praying "day and night" is more likely to refer to the Jewish custom of morning and evening prayer than to praying hours on hand. "Without ceasing" then would mean without letting down.

There is however much written that revolves around how much time one spends in prayer. I think that as in the case of physical exercise, spiritual "fitness" (I know, I know) also requires both quality and quantity. But my point is that much of what is written seems to assume a lot and prescribe accordingly rather than discuss the nitty gritty of such considerations, where they come come, the biblical basis for such and how one may grow in these areas. 

As for Tozer, I have read enough of him (and on him) to know he was influenced by mysticism. But of course he is not in the same register as some of the Catholic mystics. And for that matter, I do enjoy Tozer, own his collection and would recommend reading from him.

My hesitation, M.J., when I hear about the writings of the fathers and mothers, is that (1) There is a monumental quantity of volumes that have been written. I do not have the time nor want to take it to read all this stuff in search for the rare pearl. (2) My past experiences have been disappointing: I hear people raving about the classics. I read them and found them to be often very glowy and "deep" indeed (I can see why people like them), but lacking in the kind of biblical basis I am looking for and entertaining a lot of extra-biblical ideas. (3) I am VERY weary toward being enthralled by the reported religious experiences of others. Anyone who has read substantially in Jewish writings would be able to see that religious phenomenon is by no means distinctly Christian and certainly not self-validating. There is a lot of non-sense, heresy and patent error that is claimed to have been received through experiences. Certainly I find most of the still, small voice teaching out there to be encouraging people to confuse their own thoughts with God speaking and to cultivate a subjective approach to revelation and communion that is irresponsible (and in the end, despite claims to the contrary, extremely irreverent). 

It is true that such criteria do not leave a lot of titles to recommend. This is precisely my predicament. Still, if among the mass of fathers and mothers, you think there is something that might resonate with the likes of me, let me know. 

Thanks for your input!

Posts 3685
Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 20 2014 1:25 AM

MJ. Smith:
Not something I've run into with "modern mystics" ... nor have I ever heard of Tozer listed as a mystic although I've heard he was a superb spiritual director ... but does "pray without ceasing" count?

Hopefully, it was understood that this is a hyperbole. What I refer to is writings from a certain era that is very glowy and bigger than life (some of the missionary lives books are like that, you never hear about them losing their temper with their kids or struggling with any sin else than periodic discouragement or doubt). In that kind of book you'd hear stuff like (I am not quoting, just mimicking) "Spurgeon/George Muller/Whoever Else prayed everyday by his bedside, morning, evening and many times between. You can still see the marks made by their knees in their (historical) bedroom)."

But my point, M.J., is not to contradict the idea that we should pray much (again, I referred to the Lord's example above). Yet teaching sometimes passes over some of the more practical considerations. As for praying without ceasing, this clearly does not refer in any way or shape to whether we do it past midnight or not. Even Paul's reference to praying "day and night" is more likely to refer to the Jewish custom of morning and evening prayer than to praying hours on hand. "Without ceasing" then would mean without letting down.

There is however much written that revolves around how much time one spends in prayer. I think that as in the case of physical exercise, spiritual "fitness" (I know, I know) also requires both quality and quantity. But my point is that much of what is written seems to assume a lot and prescribe accordingly rather than discuss the nitty gritty of such considerations, where they come come, the biblical basis for such and how one may grow in these areas. 

As for Tozer, I have read enough of him (and on him) to know he was influenced by mysticism. But of course he is not in the same register as some of the Catholic mystics. And for that matter, I do enjoy Tozer, own his collection and would recommend reading from him.

My hesitation, M.J., when I hear about the writings of the fathers and mothers, is that (1) There is a monumental quantity of volumes that have been written. I do not have the time nor want to take it to read all this stuff in search for the rare pearl. (2) My past experiences have been disappointing: I hear people raving about the classics. I read them and found them to be often very glowy and "deep" indeed (I can see why people like them), but lacking in the kind of biblical basis I am looking for and entertaining a lot of extra-biblical ideas. (3) I am VERY weary toward being enthralled by the reported religious experiences of others. Anyone who has read substantially in Jewish writings would be able to see that religious phenomenon is by no means distinctly Christian and certainly not self-validating. There is a lot of non-sense, heresy and patent error that is claimed to have been received through experiences. Certainly I find most of the still, small voice teaching out there to be encouraging people to confuse their own thoughts with God speaking and to cultivate a subjective approach to revelation and communion that is irresponsible (and in the end, despite claims to the contrary, extremely irreverent). 

It is true that such criteria do not leave a lot of titles to recommend. This is precisely my predicament. Still, if among the mass of fathers and mothers, you think there is something that might resonate with the likes of me, let me know. 

Thanks for your input!

Posts 3685
Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 20 2014 1:26 AM

Sue McIntyre:

A classic on prayer that I read recently in Logos is:

https://www.logos.com/product/1176/the-soul-of-prayer

Thank you, Sue.

Posts 26749
Forum MVP
MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 20 2014 1:59 AM

Francis:
Still, if among the mass of fathers and mothers, you think there is something that might resonate with the likes of me, let me know. 

I think Roberta Bondi is the best introduction to the Desert Fathers and Mothers - she teaches how to read them not just what they teach - and makes it applicable to today.

Francis:
There is a lot of non-sense, heresy and patent error that is claimed to have been received through experiences.

Quite true. But there are also safeguards against which experience must be measured.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 1605
Ken McGuire | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 20 2014 5:14 AM

If I may put in a quick plug for Martin Luther's Simple way to Pray, available over in the Files forum?  It is an introduction Luther wrote for his Barber...

The Gospel is not ... a "new law," on the contrary, ... a "new life." - William Julius Mann

Posts 3685
Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jul 20 2014 5:17 AM

Ken McGuire:
It is an introduction Luther wrote for his Barber

Intriguing...

Page 1 of 2 (22 items) 1 2 Next > | RSS