Book Review: Prayer by O. Hallesby
This wonderful book explains what prayer is and requirements for effective and pleasing to God prayer. It begins by explaining that true prayer requires that we are open to letting Jesus enter into our hearts to let Him in, to accept Him. Indeed, all prayer should be made "in the name of Jesus." It also requires a feeling of helplessness, knowing fully that we need God. Likewise, we need to fully believe in and have faith in God, to trust Him without telling Him what to do or how we think things should be done. God doesn't need our help. He does, however, want us to come to Him, to trust Him, and to fully communicate our thoughts and desires, as a child does with a parent. God loves us and wants us to share all our joys and sorrows, little things as well as big things. The author defines prayer as "the breath of the soul" and " the conduit through which power from heaven is brought to earth." He states that the ultimate purpose of prayer is to glorify the name of God. Nothing should be asked of God except that our prayer requests serve to more greatly show God's glory, whether or not He chooses to act on our behalf. It is also very essential that we have patience with God. Often our prayers, whether for ourselves or for others, may not be answered in the way that we wanted, or not quickly enough to satisfy our impatient desires. Sometimes, God may choose not to gives us our desires because He knows what is best for us, or because our requests may not mesh with His plan. We may never see the results of our prayers, or maybe not for a very long time. which can make us feel frustrated. This may be especially true of intercessory prayer, since many people want to know that their actions produced results and wish to be appreciated by men. Intercessory prayer is very important, but it is " a fine and difficult act, and it requires a long and rigorous period of training." The book classifies different forms of prayer, which are: 1) Supplicatory prayer ( requests for God to intervene ) 2) Prayer of Thanksgiving to God, 3) Prayer of praise to God , 4) Conversation (exchange of thoughts and ideas with God) , 5) Prayer without words ( God hears what is in our hearts without anything being said).
Another point raised is that Satan is trying hard to discourage us from praying effectively. He makes us feel that we don't have time for prayer, that we are too busy with other more important matters, or that God won't listen to our prayers because we are sinners. He knows that prayer is an effective weapon and he tries to keep us from praying as much as he is able. Do not listen to Satan's lies. We should have a time set aside every day for prayer, but in addition, we can pray to God often throughout the day. Continuously is the ideal. When in doubt, we can ask the Spirit of prayer ,"Lord, teach me to pray." When we are open to letting Jesus enter our hearts, to give His power access into us, prayer matters greatly.
This book was so very helpful and instructive about teaching me about prayer; About right and wrong ways to pray; About right and wrong motives in prayer; About prayer that pleases or displeases God. Many examples, stories, and biblical references are given. I really appreciated reading this book and highly recommend it. With a 1931 copyright, it is truly an oldie but goodie.
Richard Cerruti 7-21-16