Since I’m in the middle of blogging through Steve Harper’s book, Talking in the Dark: Praying When Life Doesn’t Make Sense, it seems appropriate to share my favorite books on prayer. I’ll limit my list to my favorite 3 books on prayer. And I won’t include Talking in the Dark, for variety’s sake.
No doubt I’ll miss some very good ones, quite possibly because I haven’t read them yet. I’d love to get input and feedback on good books on prayer. Two final notes: One, I’m not including workbooks or prayer guides, but Maxie Dunnam’s Workbook of Living Prayer is a classic for good reason, I recommend it. And two, I’m currently reading Philip Yancey’s Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference? and it is typically wonderful Yancey. If you’re a fan of Yancey, you’ll probably like it.
So, here are my bona-fide favorites, all of which I’ve read multiple times, in no particular order:
- Prayer for Beginners, by Peter Kreeft. Kreeft is a Catholic professor of philosophy at Boston College and a prolific author. This book is short and reads very quickly. He writes in the introduction, “this [book on prayer] could have been titled ‘Prayer for Dummies’, prayer for people who are not very good at praying, people who find it hard to pray, not people who find it easy–in other words, people like me.” Me too.
- Dimensions of Prayer: Cultivating a Relationship with God, by Douglas Steere. Steere was a Quaker professor of philosophy at Haverford College. This book is also a short one. In his introduction he wrote, “In learning to pray, no laboratory is needed but a room, not apparatus but ourselves. The living God is the field of force into which we enter in prayer, and the only really fatal failure is to stop praying and not to begin again.” That simple admonition is powerful to me.
- Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home, by Richard Foster. Foster is a Quaker and key leader in the modern spiritual formation movement. Renovare is the organization he started and works with to that aim. I love Renovare’s focus on drawing from the riches of the whole Christian tradition in order to help us mature in our relationship with Christ. This book explores 21 different types of praying, helping us learn and practice the broad spectrum of praying and not just the ruts we’ve grown accustomed to.
What is your favorite book/s on prayer?