27.6.13

"Ordinary Prayer" by Jeremy Rios


Rios, Jeremy. Ordinary Prayer: Encountering God through our Everyday Needs. Jeremy Michael Rios, 2012. 

Rios begins with two important truths: 
1. The center of prayer is petition. 
2.Petition is difficult. 
From there he offers a  guide to, you guessed it, ordinary prayer. Petitionary prayer practiced daily over all of our needs, small to large, common and repeated or unique. His goal, his prayer, is that "as you read you will be led to put the book down and begin praying."

What follows is a guide to understanding prayer, how to pray, how to understand God's answers, how to pray in groups, and more. And by guide I do not mean exhaustive step-by-step instruction manual. "Ordinary Prayer" and Rios, as the author, is more like a wilderness guide. He won't carry you up the mountain, but he will tell you which paths are fruitful, which rocks are firm, and point you to the views along the way. In other words Rios is not out to be prescriptive, nor to answer all of our questions, but to enable us to pray. In this he succeeds. 

This is an excellent book. It is, in fact, one of the best books on prayer I have ever read. Helpful, surprisingly insightful, applicable in ways far broader than the subject of petitionary prayer, this book is worth reading several times. And I'm not just saying that because I know the author. Rather, that last sentence was included as a subtle way of giving you, the reader of this review, full disclosure; Jeremy did not pay for or even ask for this review, but he is my friend. The book has been published for some time now; he just had the bad luck to publish it right as I stopped reviewing books. Now that I might start again, I thought I should start with something great. 

Conclusion: 5 Stars. Highly Recommended. Pray. Then read this book. Then pray more. 

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